Bridget and I are like an old married couple.
I went to catch her last night and she was like 'Nope. I am still mad at you." She's apparently got a history of being difficult to catch, but fingers crossed, this was the first time she'd tried it with me. Mares. I caught her in very short order. I could be imagining things, but it seemed more like she just wanted to let her feelings be known rather than actually not wanting to come into the barn for a visit.
Pre ride, I switched up her bridle and went from the current eggbutt snaffle back to the loose ring french link she used to tolerate. Couldn't hurt, right?
When I got on, she was immediately thinking forward. To the point that forward was the new answer to every request?! I called truce and just let her be - so what if the bend wasn't as great as I would have liked or the canter was a bit rushed. I'll take that over the previous night's deciding not to move at all!
She's still very fussy in the contact, but I forced myself to be patient and give the bit change a chance. There was some moderate success, so I think we'll stick with it and see if it might be part of the key to getting back to a happy place.
Left lead walk to canter was still not the best. She thought about things overnight apparently and got herself a little worked up over it. Instead of dealing with 'Don't wanna move!' it was more 'Can't wait, I got this, let's do this thing now!!' *gets self in a muddle and forgets how her legs actually work. Offers multiple counter canter and random lead changes. Gets worried she's in trouble again* So, lots of repetition, and lots of changes through walk, so I could tell her how fantastic her collected walk and that right lead transition is amongst our multiple tries for a relaxed left transition. We found a happy place to end on, and fingers crossed, we've found a good place to compromise. I don't know what has prompted the recent lack of confidence in making a left lead canter transition, but we'll figure it out. I've said it before, but I think I need to remind myself again: for all her confidence and opinions she really is a sensitive little thing and quite the worrier. Once she gets herself organized the canter itself is lovely, but the initial stride or two are a bit of a muddle and she's reverted back to wanting to be counterbent. I tried with and without my reins in case it's rider error (I do love to hang on the inside rein now and then), but I didn't notice any difference. She's up to date on everything but it's been a year since the saddle fitter visited, so we'll get that checked again just in case....last time we were having similar issues her saddle needed the flocking adjusted a little.