Today was indeed a good day.
I took to heart what Steffen Peters said, as reported by Roxana Shoen at Horse Junkies United (here). I wanted to see what Lucky would do if I changed my aids a little. I softened my aids, and stopped nagging him with my leg. Actually first crack out of the box, I did this. I gave him ONE trot aid and left him alone for two circuits around the farm, about 3 miles and 20 minutes. WOW. Did I have a different horse, or what. He might be a big, strong, tough guy who can rear in the air high enough to scare the pigeons off the roof of the turnout shed, when he runs around for joy he leaves every horse on the place far behind him, and he can buck like a rodeo horse when a horse fly dares to land on his 17-hand-plus butt. But he wants little whispered aids, light and airy — and he relaxes and loosens his back and
rides like spaghetti. He was so soft in his back I did some absolute whipped-cream-sweet sitting trot to the canter transitions, cantered several 20m circles so light and uphill I almost cried, and THEN….thought “why not”, and applied some aids to get a little bit of trot shoulder-in both directions. I also utilized the halt as suggested by Steffen several times and by the fourth halt, this horse is so darn smart, he brought up a hind leg and squared all by himself. I did not want to get off. I did not want it to end. I thought if I move a little bit, it will all be ruined, but it wasn’t. It’s not that he dislikes dressage. He dislikes craptastic idiots who ride like blocks of stone with hands like pitchforks and legs like a slamming screen door. Ya think? What a ride. After a really crappy day yesterday, today was Christmas and New Years. Thanks, Lucky – isn’t it appropriate that we would find our dressage chops the week of Dressage At Devon!