We've had a very welcome break from winter, with temperatures up to the 70s! There is still a little mud in the pasture around the gates and run-in, but it is drying up. There is grass around the property, though not too much in the pasture itself but enough to keep the horses entertained.
Monday - I found a little drainage spot on Cupid's right front hoof, above his heel. Hopefully that's the end of what I've been feeling there! We had a light ride, basic walk trot and canter with lots of bending. Ended with some leg yielding at the trot; I felt like Cupid was moving sideways but not really stepping under with his hind leg so want to work on that.
Tuesday - Dressage lesson, with my trainer really on me about keeping steady contact and not pulling the inside rein. Also for not being forward enough. So Cupid decided he'll show me and canter really big (okay not that big, but bigger than usual thus making me slightly uncomfortable). I decided to just go with it and figured eventually he would realize it's too much work, which was the case but first he decided the horse and rider approaching the gate was scary and darted away. So obviously again I didn't have my inside leg on. We ended with some pretty nice trot work.
Wednesday - Lunging session with balancing reins. Cupid was 100% getting the left lead, yay!
Thursday - We did some basic walk, trot, and canter with 20 meter circles and serpentines, then did a little jumping. There were only 2 jumps set in the arena (left from our circle of death), and I just kind of made up the course as we went along. We had a few long spots early on but then were able to clean it up. Still had a little trouble with the left lead, so I ended up trotting a lot of the jumps coming from the left.
Friday - We had a lesson and were hoping to be able to ride in the outdoor arena, which has been closed the past few weeks. As I was grooming Cupid in his stall I noticed his right hind leg was a little puffy above the fetlock. I knelt down to take a look and saw a little scratch below his hock. I was surprised that would cause the swelling, and then noticed several more scratches on the inside of his leg. Oh Cupid! He didn't seem lame though so I figured I would get on and see how he feels, and take it a little easy.
Not only was the outdoor open, but I was happy to see the dressage court rails were in place! We walked around a few times each direction before starting to trot on a 20 meter circle in the far end. When we went to go down the rail Cupid scooted away, presumably from the cavaletti sitting outside. But his reaction was pretty mild. I turned Cupid in a small circle (keeping at the trot), and made sure to keep my inside leg on as we passed the cavaletti. Right when Cupid was getting over it the tractor came to drag the ring, so we had to move to the covered.
We did some really nice trot work. On a 20 meter circle we would do medium trot, then collect a little and sit and do a 10 meter circle with a few steps shoulder fore as we went back onto the larger circle before straightening back into a medium trot. Then with the shoulder fore we also added a little haunches in. Eventually after shoulder in and haunches in we straightened but stayed collected and went into a shoulder fore to the outside a few steps then haunches out. I was super happy with how Cupid felt! We ended with a little stretching trot. My trainer said I was much better with my upper body and hands.
I decided to skip the next Yarra Yarra show, but we are registered for a competition clinic in two weeks! I chose Training test 2 again. I'm really excited about it.