Yes, I rode today (with a high of 21 deg). I had a lesson that it was only a half-hour, but it was a great half-hour. Yes, PJ’s tendency is to slow down instead of rush, but gone are the days where I spent all of my efforts just getting him to trot instead of jog. I’m hoping it’s not just the cold weather, but PJ is actually FORWARD!!!!!
Because he’s been going so well, we’ve been introducing new things in each lesson. In one lesson, we did shallow serpentines at the canter – the start to counter canter. Today we worked on 10-meter circles. We started with a 20-meter circle and then a 15-meter circle, and then went to 10 meters. The goal was to get him to sit more with each reduction of diameter. PJ tried to slow down instead of sit. I had to use very little hand, and instead, regulate his stride with my seat while keeping my legs on – the inside leg to keep the bend and the outside leg to keep him going.
What I didn’t do so well was a canter depart after the 10-meter circle. It was because I didn’t get him to sit as well as I should have – it was more of a slow down – so that when I sent him forward afterwards he wasn’t on his hind end and couldn’t strike off right away. Considering the weather and that this was a new exercise, I was okay with how we did. It just means we have something that can only get better.