I was pretty excited to get back on the Moon'er today and headed to the barn excited (but a little delayed). I hadn't brought the fleece pad he's been wearing the last couple of weeks because I had given it a good wash, so I threw on a regular cotton sheet instead. No biggie.
In the ring he was pretty gappy, but getting his head long and low. We had some AWESOME sitting trot, but he felt...gappy. Lots of twisting of his head and neck, lots of open mouth going, lots of jaw action.
He was also lazy. I was embarrassed to do WAY too much kicking to keep him moving and he stalled out constantly by the arena door. My legs were sore from the day before on Sulky-horse and I could tell I was getting more and more frustrated. Not so much with the jaw movements, but with him going slower and slower and ignoring my leg aids. I probably should have employed the convincing powers of the crop, but instead I resorted to a good heel-driven boot. Not graceful, not dressage approved, but it worked.
A crazy part of me really felt like he wasn't as comfortable without the fleece pad. I'm sure instead, it's that I was tense and sore and stiff, and all of those things made him slow and gappy. Like my body was saying halt but my actions said go.
Well, not yet anyway. My new pad is arriving on Monday (hopefully) and I'll test ride it to see if there's a noticable difference. Even if it's a placebo effect, I'll take it.
I *did* cringe when I noticed some white hairs under his saddle. Right where the front flap would lie. Not good.
Watch me beat my head on a fence rail. WHY?!
New pad, some shims and some more work. We'll keep trying. Just want him to be comfortable. And I really feel like the cotton pads aren't doing it for him.
The only other thing was some stocking up on his left hind, which was nice and tight after exercise. Yup, very "wind-puff" like that I'm not too worried about it. Things come with age I suppose.
So that was this evening's ride. Not amazing, not impressive, but educational. We've plenty of work to go and maybe next week I can start practicing outside.
And the trailer comes home on Sunday! Picked up a pail of "Toon-Brite" clear coat and am hoping like crazy the weather holds out!!!
Happy Easter everyone!