It finally feels like spring might make an appearance here. This has been the craziest winter I can remember - usually it's a big event if we get snow here at sea level once. This winter we had below freezing temps and snow for a good part of the winter, plus some crazy windstorms earlier in the season.
Since the arena was for once both dry and unfrozen, we had a barn jump school Friday night. In exchange for me hacking her mare Q, best barn mate C has been riding Bridget once a week or so and usually turning it into a jump school. I could tell she's been working hard because I had a great ride on Bridget - forward and fun, with zero hesitation or sucking back. Confidence inspiring for sure! We kept the jumps small, the session short and positive. I think we might turn this into a weekly thing - it's nice to have fun with it and cheer each other on.
Saturday, it was partly sunny, but with a super cold wind. We went on about an hour trail ride, and had a great time. The creeks are super deep right now, so Bridget was up to her belly in places, but she's brave about stuff like that. The only weird moment was going up a super steep hill out of one of the creek ravines. We had a newer rider with us, so opted to walk up it...but it turns out it's hard to get enough traction at a walk. Poor Bridget slid back down a bit before she regained her footing. We finished the loop with a nice canter in the sunshine - nothing like a nice trail ride to cheer everyone up!
Sunday, I mixed it up and did a bit of a flat school and then went out for a fitness ride. B was not overly in the mood yesterday so there was quite a bit of attitude about going forward AND being round. So, we got a bit of good work and then headed out on the road. Instead of letting her move out on a loose rein as I normally would, I had her march up the first part of the road in a rounder frame - something she was pretty upset about - here T goes again changing the rules! Every time she sucked back, she got a reminder to move up, if she ignored/pinned her ears/sucked back further she got to move up to trot, which obviously she wasn't a fan of. It wasn't part of her game plan and turned our fitness ride into a bit more of a challenge - I was planning to let her walk most of the way up the big hill but was dissatisfied to how behind the leg she still was and made her trot quite a bit of it. Poor pony was sweaty and puffing by the time we got to the top. Being Bridget, I suspect the next time she'll be a lot more honest about things - much easier to quietly walk along on the contact than flail about and have to go forward even more. Since I wasn't in the mood to pick more fights on such a nice day, we walked home on a loose rein, much to B's relief. She's become a teeny bit barn sour, which is a bit funny - normally she could care less, now she walks slightly faster on the way home -you know, like a normal horse would. Crazy pony, getting all hyperactive on me ;)