|Full disclaimer: I also switched bits back to an eggbutt snaffle from a loose ring French link AND since the diet is working, had space to put her preferred Pro-lite half pad back in the lineup.|
And...the pony went like a dream. There was still some residual fussiness in the bridle, and a bit of stickiness, but so, so minor compared to the dramatics of the past week. We practiced our shoulder in and haunches in between collecting and extending the trot and and B went really nicely - way more willing to take a soft contact, which made me very happy.
Up to canter, and both directions were the best they've ever been. The left is still the more difficult side, but the fact we're defining "difficult" as me just having to be more careful to set her up correctly from the walk, and half halt more on the circle is huge! Last year, just getting and keeping a canter of any sort on that side was a bit of a miracle, and even last month at our dressage show it was still an obvious struggle and got us a 5. There's still work to be done, but the fact I can now start to make adjustments within the gait without the wheels falling off is huge. I feel like she's giving me a place to sit too, unlike before where I constantly had to fight against getting pushed to the outside of the circle. So much progress, made even better by the fact the Midge is quite happy to try and even seems proud of her new skillz. Sweet pony, indeed!
Since her left side is the tougher side, I got all tricksy and set up a few fences, all off the left rein. Midge was pretty sure she must have won Best Pony lottery as she happily jumped around, but it was left lead canter boot camp in disguise. I'm pretty sure she didn't notice in the moment, but pony is smart so by now she's likely realized she was duped. I'm not counting out some form of retaliation next ride :)
I finished up with a bit of no stirrups work, posting trot mostly since I am forever wishing for a better lower leg over fences. For whatever reason, it actually felt easy, dare I hope I've gotten stronger since our November no stirrups boot camp? Or perhaps it is more likely the Midget pony is simply a little more honest about taking me forward at a consistent pace without nagging. Either way, we'll call it a win!
Just over a week until we head out to eventing camp, and I can't recall the last time I was so excited for anything. This pony is just SO fun!