No riding tonight - P working late and L's at work. Hate to go alone, esp when it is cold.
Yesterday evening's ride was great! Back up first. Riva was in quite a mood when we arrived. It was cold - she was wet (thank you very much mom for not putting a blanket back on Sunday night!). Normally, Riva is ready to get out of her stall when I arrive. I walked in as usual, clipped on her lead rope and expected her to happily follow me out in the aisle. Diva ignored my tug on the lead line first - then pinned her ears at me - then backed up into the corner and grew about 2 hands...bad mare. Had P hand me a crop - gave her a smack - and she changed her mind and followed me out. She was not on her best behaviour to be groomed - but not horrible.
Tacked up and put her on the lounge. She proceeded to be lazy and mopey - listening, but in Western Pleasure horse mode. I couldn't get her trot speed up to the right and definitely could not get canter. Asked P to come out to help me. He shortened the lounge line and when Riva did not step up her trot speed, he gave her a whack from the long whip on the butt - that got her attention! She picked up a nice extended trot and canter. I took her back and had no trouble from then on. Switched to the left lead - no problem. Riva went nicely in trot and canter. Seemed to be reminded why that whip is in my hand!
Hopped up to work under saddle and the Diva was forward and ready to go. It was just L on Henny and us. Riva was wonderful and she did not even 'pull faces' as Sarah calls it at Hennessy - yeah! I put her right into a nice speed of trot and pretty quickly asked for canter on the left lead. I worked several transitions from trot to canter on the left lead - she responed well - never kept it going a full arena, but I felt good because she picked up canter every time I asked and was controlled and eager to go.
I switched her to right lead and had the same horse - forward and offering canter pretty quickly. Worked on lots of upward transitions, while I had energy and forward going. Still never got a full circle - but I felt all the transitions were good.
We then worked on 20 meter circles, with lots of change of rein. Threw in some changes on the diagonal. Gave Riva some strechey trots to relax and stretch. Not much walk - she tends to lose momentum and think we are done working. Also was able to get her to extend and pick up her trot speed on the long sides of the arena a few times - esp on the left rein. Good on the right rein also with collection on the short sides. Still better on the left rein.
Finished up with some right rein circles - trying for bend and to get her pushed out on larger circles. I felt some good moments where I could get her to tip her nose in and bend. Also worked a few turns on the haunches. Without help on the ground, these were not as good as during our lesson. I plan to work on these in hand next time - I know she understands this - and then try and translate to under saddle. Same with right bend - want to work on reinforcing in hand next time.
All in all - I was thrilled with how she did after working so hard in her lesson the night before. Probably not a bad idea for her to have today off.