|Sunny channels his inner camel|
|And shows off his flexibility|
|a lot of time...|
|Standing and sitting in the bathtub.|
|It's coming together|
On Thursday, lesson day was chilly and damp. We ended up indoors due to almost two inches of rain the day before leaving the outdoor still draining.
Once again Eric had me focusing consistency and rate, but also on bringing Buddy's back and shoulders up. He's still rolling over at the poll and getting behind the bit rather than actually engaging fully and getting soft and round when I ask him for more collection. So... after some working trot and canter while Buddy had a break to walk, air up and stretch, Eric told me to see how far down I could get him to stretch. Walking "on the buckle" with his head lowered would give him a chance to really stretch his back and neck out - a release from the collection I'd been asking for.
To encourage him to stretch, Eric had me ask for an inside bend, and then as soon as Buddy softened and rolled over at the poll, release to him. It took a few repetitions of bend, soften, release, but by the time we'd walked a few laps his nose approaching the ground and he'd really relaxed.
When I gathered him back up and clucked him back into a trot, Eric had me do the same thing trotting - inside bend, wait for him to soften, then release - to see how low I could get him there. Once we went back to a normal working trot, when I asked Buddy to collect and engage, he was much softer. Pretty cool, actually - I'll definitely have to try it with Sunny.
By the time we called it a ride Buddy was sweaty, I was sweaty, and I could definitely feel my legs protesting. But it's a good sore, right? LOL!