Wow, 17 days? That is pretty good, don't you think? I mean, he hasn't worked every one of those days, but we are chugging along.
After a less than stellar performance the day before, I was a bit apprehensive about how things would go today.
I got up at 5:30 am and went out to get Cas ready. I wanted to be working him as early as possible, as the weather has been ghastly. The AM's had been about 15-20 degrees cooler, but these past two days the heat index when I went out was already almost 90. Not good for 6am!
So, out on the line he went. Less antics today. I had to really push him to keep him in the lope/canter. He wasn't feeling like it today. When I stopped working him on the line, it was 6:30, and DH wasn't home yet. Dang it! Wanted him to be home, just in case Cas did act a fool and something happened, I'd have someone there to help out. OH well....not wanting to wait any longer (I'd already done some flexes on the ground, both sides) I sent a text to JenJ and let her know I was about to get on and ride, and that I'd txt her by 7 when I got off. :) You can never be too careful!
At the "log" (aka mounting block) Cas didn't even move. No moving his hindquarters to the right when I put my foot in the stirrup. So, that's progress, right?
After getting on, I again did some flexing both sides. OH, I did take the curb strap off the bit. When I tried flexing yesterday (which I forgot to note) the left side kept getting hung up/stuck. I had to reach down and fix it several times. So, I figured we'd give it a try sans curb strap. This one attaches with little metal clips that, no matter how you attach them, are very capable of poking the horse in the face. I'd like to add a simple leather piece under there, to keep the bit in place better.
With the flexing out of the way, and the "you don't move off right after I get on" lesson refreshed, it was time to move forward. I was a bit apprehensive, I'm sure. I asked the beast to walk forward, and I got 2 steps backward. Not what I was going for. A thunk to his right side, and I got a pinned ear and a head toss. Oh no you don't! I pulled him around, forcing him off balance and making him step to the side. A couple of those moves and a couple more thunks into his barrel and we were in the arena.
He balked a bit more over the next 25 minutes. All I asked for today was a walk. We changed directions, A LOT. This way, that way, 1/2 circle, full circle, diagonal, serpentine. Stop, flex, walk off again. I sent JenJ a txt about 6:57 and let her know we were done. It was much more humid when we ended, and the beast was indeed sweaty when we finished.
His sweat marks under his saddle however, didn't look even to me. SO, I snapped some photos on my phone and sent them to JenJ. She's had some saddle fit issues with her critters and is a PRO at saddle fitting and issues and what sweat patterns should look like and what they shouldn't and what to do about them :) Yay! As I feared, they didn't look right! I did tell her that I felt my saddle was a little further forward today then in past rides. SO, I'm going to pay better attention to saddle placement when I ride Monday or Tuesday am (I know, this will be the longest time between rides, but I have a busy weekend ahead) and take more photos and send back for further analysis!
So, bottom line....Cas "acted" up, but I was able to push him through it and end on a good note. Hope he retains this lesson for the next ride!