Pony wise, this morning brought me another hurricane - Hurricane Bridget. Once again, she was a bit hot off my aids, a little spooky, and very forward. I won't lie, this is actually a treat for me because it's my favorite sort of horse to ride. Bridget is the first horse I've owned that can get a little stuck behind the leg, so the days when she's the opposite and pulling are actually more in my comfort zone - I feel like I ride that Bridget much better. I live in hope she'll figure out life is easy and her rider is happier when she's a bit sharp and it will become more of a regular thing.
Opposite to our normal routine, we took advantage of her excess energy and did canter work first. A most excellent decision since we had our best canter work to date. Left lead was really decent for where we're at - a bit heavy and flat at times, but I'd say 75% of our time there was uphill and balanced. It was not really as round and consistently on the bit as some would like, but huge progress over a few months ago, and even a few weeks ago at our "1 speed fits all" dressage test.
Right canter as always was slightly more unreliable and tense in the transition. I feel like we still have a little bit of a mental block there after those rides where we just couldn't get it done at all. Once we get in stride though, it's actually her better side and feels wonderful to ride. Lots of power coming from that big pony bum! I admit to checking it out in the mirror and liking how it looked - I so love the big fancy canter she can surprise us with when she's really using herself. We alternated big circles with small, and I played the game of adding in a transition back to trot , then returning to canter randomly. On her lazy days she'll randomly break to trot so it's very important any and all transitions up or down are my idea and happen immediately when I ask. We're making progress there.
Another rider had the circle of death exercise set up (the one with 4 jumps evenly spaced on a 20m circle). I popped over a couple as a reward for her. Pony had so much impulsion she actually rocked it first try with 2, then no issues with all 4. Since that's a huge ask for her I didn't tempt fate and left it there, letting her believe she is the best at all the things.
We finished with some decent trot work, and cooled off at the walk. She's getting fitter strength wise, but she's still pretty out of shape cardio wise. Again, I like to quit while we are ahead and leave her feeling like she could do more rather than feeling discouraged and tired.
O (the amazingly mature and talented teenager who you'll probably be hearing about one day) popped Midge over a couple of jumps yesterday and got a big surprise when Midge went from bored dressage pony to wannabe bad ass jumper pony. She's pretty excited about her. She rides some very talented horses, so for her to like Ms Bridget so much makes me all sorts of happy. If/when Ginger comes here the one thing I know is that I will have a ton of support - Bridget has charmed everyone and Welsh Cobs are gaining a little fan base here at the big event barn.