I noticed I’ve been complaining about flatwork a lot lately- in all honesty, Oats has improved by like, 100% and my ‘wanty’ behaviour is due to the things I now think we are capable of doing…
Like yesterday- our dressage lesson was pretty good, I wasn’t scared off anything and Oats didn’t bug me too much. But, things like- he wouldn’t trot when I was asking for contact in a medium-low stretchy frame- he would only canter. And canter. And canter. For a pony who has the HARDEST time going forward, it’s quite interesting to ride him when he finds canter easier than trot. I wanted trot though, so I was like wtf horse, why won’t you just trot?!!
But, as my trainer pointed out, if he’s doing the exercise well enough at the canter, leave it there for now. It’s mentally doing the job that you need–you can get nitpickier about the gait later. Fair enough!
So, we cantered–seeking the nice, stretchy lower-frame work that we tried to get in trot. And then we eventually got it in trot! And the tried for it in a quieter, more compressed trot to transition to a small canter. This was met with mixed results- Oats started being a twit about yanking the reins out of my hands and tossing his head…So, back to the drawing board.
I found (again) that I let him buldge off my right leg going left. Oh and I rely too much on my inside rein to keep him in corners- this has been plaguing me on my jump lessons bigtime!
It was a very sweaty lesson. Oats had rivulets of sweat running down his forehead! If he’d only trot, I’m sure it would have been much less sweaty, but you know, ponies…No sense reasoning with them!
I did give him a very big and long head-scratching session- as dictated by me so he doesn’t rudely shove his big head on me- and he LOVED IT! And he got some more candy canes as a treat!