Amber was phenomenal yesterday. We had quite a long ride – longer than I was expecting, but Amber was wonderful. I put my spurs back on, hoping she’d be confident enough from the past few days that she wouldn’t be worried once I stuck them on. She’s so responsive that I’ve left them off so she wouldn’t get worried about my feet, but I had to put them back on since she’s been lazy-slow and lazy-fast with her trot work.
When we got out there, her warm up trot was much better. It was really amusing because she let out a sigh and realized she couldn’t be lazy. But we had a nice warm up and she was able to hold her canter better as well. Then it was off to work on the poles. Due to the spurs she was a little more lit in the canter, but she settled soon after. We had a couple other misses over the poles, but again she was really smart with her feet when we tried again.
We had a good moment, too. In her desire to hit the poles correctly, she took a bit of a long shot to one of them. She ended up switching leads over it, but I was very pleased with her and she seemed to realize it. I am glad she’s starting to desire to get it right, a desire to think for herself and be responsible for her feet, and is absolutely committed to going over it.
She was more forward today, and while I think part of it was because of the spurs, I do think it’s because she’s enjoying it and having fun as well as understanding our new things.
But the biggest surprise that occurred was we suddenly had auto changes. I was just in shock and surprise. And she did them both ways! Her left to right has always been tougher, but she nailed those well, too! I was so proud of her, and she just kept changing like it was the most natural thing in the world. And I made sure to let her know how awesome she was for it. And honestly I really just left her alone, and she did them! Smart mare, this one.
Then stupid me asked for a few too many, and they were much harder for her. It was super muggy from all the clouds and she was super sweaty. She’s also never really done lead changes under saddle, so I know she was tired. I was ready to take it and just quit, but I decided to try just one more. A right to left which is her easy side. I really wanted to get a good one and a correct one so we didn’t end on a not-so-good note.
And sweet girl, she knew exactly what I wanted. I took her over a pole, and she lifted herself like hold up ma, I got this and just did this beautiful lead change right after the pole. I had her stop and just loved on her face for a minute. Then I hopped back on and walked her out.
She absolutely adored her bath, itchy thing that she is. But she now looks beautiful. It is nice to see that she is actually starting to lose some weight, too. It’ll take some more time, but I’m happy with it so far. We’re not doing too much extra work than we had done before, but we’re riding a lot more often than 2-3 times a week now. So she’s bound to lose some, and is starting to look good.
Amber has an acupuncture and laser therapy appointment for this coming Sunday, and hopefully it’ll be that last bit to really help release the muscles around her hip and get her feeling really good.
However, she seemed pretty tired yesterday, so today I plan to have a nice, quiet dressage ride with her. Just some nice relaxing trot work, some simple cantering, and we’ll leave it at that. It’ll be a nice relaxing ride, I’m sure. I’m also sure Amber will be making more funny faces at least!