Things pretty much went downhill from there.
In the ring, he started out spooky, as a small van-full of kids were running up and down from the viewing room (ours is on the second floor) and there was a lot of conversation and noise coming from the barn. Certainly different from our usual late evening rides.
Then another horse joined us and he justed wanted to stare at her and follow her. Until they touched noses and she tried to rip his face off (hardly her fault...I mean, she's a gal)...and he tried to respond by kicking her in the chest (not that he managed to lift his leg that high).
We did some sucky shoulder-in. He was just brace-y.Yanking on my reins, throwing his nose in the sand, pulling on everything, pushing into my legs and just being stubborn. He wasn't remotely forward, and my legs were starting to burn. Even with the dressage whip, he merely turned into a wiggly horse and things continued to go downhill. Add W to the ring, and now I was conscious that I was so tense, frustrated and impatient that we didn't stand a chance at working on our canter departs. I just wanted to ride like a bull. And I knew it. So rather then go someplace I didn't want to, I decided to leave the arena. We'd only go backwards if I started fighting and punishing him, whereas if I just quit, we'd at least stay exactly where we are.
I walked him back out to the barn and then had a bit of a change of heart. I didn't have the patience to get him softening right now, but I DID feel like we would both benefit from a short run through the back field.
Except it was FREEZING out.
We went anyway. No surprise, we hit the open patch and Moon and I just broke into canter. A HUGE canter, since the snow was up to his belly. We rolled along until we got to the end, then turned around and he gave me a huge trot around. Canter back home. It was LOVELY (and cold!).
That was our ride. It was crummy. Really crummy. But the deep snow got him working his back and hind muscles and forced him to get his neck low and use himself. And we had a bit of fun doing it. Sure, it wasn't the ring ride I wanted, but such is the life of a rider. Better a fun ride that does no harm, then riding circles and bickering the whole time.
Untacked, groom and out to his paddock. Of course, lunch had been served and his was waiting for him. Sometimes I wonder how much missing lunch effects him. He can hear them moving around delivering everyone's feed, and he always has to share his when he gets back because otherwise Curly-horse just chases him away. So he really gets 1/2 to 1/3 of his lunch when I force him to work through it. Hmmmm...something to reconsider next time??
The only good news is that W is having a "Learn the Test" mini-clinic where we can sign up to ride through a dressage test under her guidance, get some pointers and learn how we're judged. Plus, a potluck lunch!
Moon and I are signed up for the morning and just have to pick our walk-trot test...hmmmm....any favorites out there???!
Moon'er and I, in our (better then expected with how crummy the ride felt) shoulder-in. Note the three tracks/three visible legs at some portions in the video. He falls in and out of it, but a good try for as resistant as he was.
And yes, I need to straighten my head up!