Yesterday, we had high winds. Tomorrow we will have rain and cold blustery winds. Today, we had clear, sunny, calm and cool sandwiched between the other two days. We were up at dawn's early light to do chores so I could ride before work.
Jackson was in a happy mood, eager to work, eager to run. He was a bit too eager and kept trying to charge forward even during our walk warmup. I took up the contact and put him to work sooner than I usually would -- I could see that if I didn't, he would get sillier and sillier. We worked on leg yield squares and that settled him after his initial protest of not wanting to concentrate. Running backwards when I ask for "step deeply to the side" isn't how you get gold stars. It was far from perfect; his butt would go over and then I'd have to move his shoulder over to catch up; or vice versa. He nailed it a few times and I praised him enthusiastically. I have to get the timing just right on my aids because he reacts quickly with the wrong thing otherwise. I have to concentrate. I have to ride every step with focus and intention.
We did some changes of bend at trot to work on looseness. He didn't understand at first so I had to ride the line of being clear and firm with the line of letting him figure it out. His trot was very nice -- smooth, very forward and responsive. I felt like I was riding a sports car. There was coiled energy flowing through his body and he was ready to surge forward at a tap on the accelerator. I didn't. Instead, I used the energy to get beautiful trot work. When we had completed a fair amount of relaxed strong trot work, I asked for canter. He didn't ya-hoo on me - I waited until he was firmly grounded in his brain before I asked. The transitions were decent and although they are still far from good, they are definitely improving.
He felt like a sassy sound horse today. A sandwich with the works.