With the beautiful weather we've been having, the arena is semi-useable for the first time in a few months. Unfortunately, there are about 3 inches of standing water in most of it and the rest is pure mud. Well, better muddy and sloppy than hard and slippery. I think show horses ought to be able to work in less than ideal conditions, because you can never predict what you will be faced with in the show ring, so I tacked Louie up in the bitting rig. This time, I implemented a few changes- a thick stuffed cotton bustle (home made by yours truly) instead of the crupper, a single elastic check rein that slides left to right instead of the side reins, and a new smooth half-cheek copper mouth dr. bristol instead of the D-ring with copper rollers.
I rolled up my jeans and we headed out for the mudbath. I wish I had my camera today, there would have been some great pictures. We worked on the first half of the lesson from Sunday, trying to pick up the right lead on the lunge line. It took a LOT of attempts, but he actually did get it a few times at the end (actually at the very beginning I started him out to the left and he picked up the right (wrong) lead right away- hmmmm), but he wouldn't keep going on the right (correct) lead very long by the end of the lesson. I kept trying to end the lesson by asking him to stop before he quit on me, but he kept breaking into the trot after only one or two strides (I can't blame him, I'm sure he was tired and confused from being broken back to the trot so many times when he got the wrong lead). Finally I got my timing right and after 2 strides on the right lead, asked him to stop. This is going to need lots more work, two steps back, one step forward, but I can see the lightbulb come on, so I have faith that he'll get it. The good thing about this whole ordeal is that he's getting into shape, and he is much more eagar to canter now than he was and is taking it easily with the cues- should make cantering under saddle that much easier. And, absolutely no goofing off today- yay!! I long lined him yesterday in the pasture with blinkers on and he did great then too- no cantering (intentionally), but the blinkers make a huge difference with him in getting him to work and not play.
Needless to say, I had my work cut out for me after our lesson today with the cooling out and clean up. ;) A bath would have been so much easier. haha