I had a not so bad ride Wednesday night. Bridget was thinking forward and although a little too heavy in the contact and hauling me around a bit, it was a refreshing change from our usual status quo of looking for any opportunity to stop. I finished off with some baby gymnastic grids, which were a mistake because they were increasingly super wiggly. Pony cares not about my increasingly direct rein aids or my spur meeting her side, the call of the arena wall is simply too strong to resist.
Last night, my goal was to work on straightness. I had lost some of the forward from the previous night so it was a pretty difficult proposition. My Monday night lesson mate was riding as well and wanted to practice running through our dressage tests for the show. They're just the entry level eventing tests and are simple enough. Walk, trot, canter, and some 20m circles in trot and canter. Since we had to dismantle some jumps and mark out an arena, it took a little time to get set up. Midge decided that time standing meant she was done and she was less than impressed to go back to work. Cue epic pony meltdown. Can't turn, can't go forward. Run into the wall rather than go where I ask. This is the side of Bridget that I find very frustrating - she knows that she's bigger than her rider and can basically ignore them if she so chooses. She's unfortunately learned running her rider into the wall/gate/misc objects in the arena makes them stop pressuring her to do things that are 'hard', even if it's only for a stride or two. Smart, yet evil. She's undeterred by spurs or crop or your increasing frustration when she's in a mood. She's lucky she's cute and that the naughty pony card is getting pulled less frequently these days.
Still, it's never a good thing when we are in disagreement so often, and I'm going to shell out some extra dollars for some trainer rides and possibly a one day a week ride on one of the more advanced horses. Previously when I asked EC her response was essentially that I'm doing just fine riding Bridget myself, and that I need to be patient, but I'm admittedly losing patience and don't want to get to the point where it's not fun. I think it will be a good thing for the both of us to have someone else ride once a week. Bridget can learn that others will have the same expectations of her, and I can have a little mental time out while someone else with a full patience bank rides the baby pony struggle bus.