All of 2 so far … After Eli jumped pretty well on Sunday, he got a bit of a break on Monday and I rode him pretty much just to let him stretch out and get some exercise. And he got a day off on Tuesday.
Wednesday would be the most notable ride of the week thus far, ha. I was able to get the ride in before sunset, which was a nice change from the regular weekday routine. Eli is a little easier to deal with in daylight. He is plenty fine to ride at night, but it does take longer to get his attention at the outset. On Wednesday, we worked on transitions within the canter for a little bit but mostly focused on developing a strong forward trot. I always start Eli on a loose rein and just ask him to move out first. This makes it easier to keep him coming from his hind end when I do ask for contact on the bit. I am using my seat more and more with him and he seems to get it. Posting deep and sitting longer while posting helps to moderate his trot and still allows him to go forward, but not faster. And that’s pretty much what he does — bigger steps in the same rhythm. I think I am much better with my shoulders in the trot than in the canter, so Eli’s trot comes along much faster as far as developing it goes, than his canter does. I am trying to work more in the canter, but not much more. Just enough more to get done what I am asking. Eli seems to understand the seat at the canter now, too. Not that any of this is automatic — as if.
After riding on Wednesday, I just happened to have a brand new figure 8 and a bit I have meaning to try on Eli (for a very specific reason, not an everyday bit) so I thought I had better try on the bit and the figure 8 at the same time. Both fit. I am very reluctant to use the figure 8 on Eli, even though it’s padded. Even adjusting it slightly lower than I normally would, it hits just across the dent in his face from the sinus surgeries. That seems like a bad idea to me. But I have some work-arounds that might keep him comfortable. I am not in a hurry to use either the bit or the new bridle, but I’m glad to see they both fit Eli. And ideally the bit would be used in conjunction with either a flash or a figure 8. You couldn’t pay me to put a flash on my horse (I’m not a fan) so figure 8 it is.
I didn’t ride Thursday because of high winds. It was cold and I don’t even want to know what the wind chills were, but jumps were blowing over.
I am determined to ride this evening. We’ll see if that determination endures beyond sunset.