Nothing all that spectacular to report... but feel like I should report even the little things because I know I like to read them later. Just put Bijou back into work yesterday. She was rushy and fussy and I didn't get the 'refreshed' horse I was looking for, but she wasn't a total spaz case either, so I'll call it a success.
Today we worked a lot on the things that were my homework for last week. We did lots of transitions. Bijou is great at upward transitions as long as she knows they're coming, but when I let her get into a lazy walk and then try to pick things up again she is pretty behind my leg. Cue #2 of our homework, start carrying a dressage whip. This took a little getting used to for both Bijou and I. I haven't carried a crop/whip in a long time, so it took some re-getting used to, and Bijou kept listening to the little thing fluttering at her side. I didn't use the whip, I just held it, because she has been a bit shy of it in the past. We also worked on halting without trying to rip the reins out of my hands, and then knowing the difference between halting and backing, and halting and then going forward again. We did lots of transitions from walk-trot then trot-collected-extended then walk-canter. We did one REALLY great walk/canter transition to the left, and then a few sloppy ones to the right. I also did some pretty tight circles at the canter mostly to slow the beast down without having to rip on her face, but also because I feel like she needs to learn to balance, and circles are a good idea! Then she was still being really rushy at the canter and kinda bolting down the long sides, so I decided to just two-point and get contact and circle until she decided to chill the eff out. Surprisingly, when I picked up into two point, she went round and much much lighter in my hands. She was still fast, but there were good moments of regular canter too. I think she's just not quite fit enough to be expecting real good canter all the time, but I just want to figure out how to get her to stop running away with me. I think I'll try doing lots of two-point canter (which will be good pre-gallop practice for me anyway) which hopefully will help her develop better muscling over time, which will allow her to carry me better in the future.
phew. That felt like it got really long winded, but oh well. I'm still so happy that I can canter without fear of being bucked off. I think I should make another resolution, to be thankful for where we are and reflect on where we've been while striving to be better at the same time, otherwise I can get stuck in the now, and feel like I'm sinking in the issues we're having. Yet another great reason for having a blog, I can look back and reflect on when I couldn't lunge my horse, or when I felt bad for riding her because she was so skinny... don't miss those days!
I've got another lesson on Saturday, so I'll do more practicing tomorrow and Friday :)