Monday morning, before the temperatures reached the mid-90s, I took a lesson on Lucy. She was a little sluggish to start -- it may not have been 90, but it was warm. It took a little bit of work to get her going but once she was warmed up, she was eager to work. The arena was crowded with lessons and other riders trying to beat the heat so we worked at the far end. Brett tried to take pictures but between the distance and the darkness in the covered arena, most of them didn't come out.
We continued working on Lucy's trot. First getting her relaxed and stretching. Next practicing our transitions and making sure she was focused and listening to me. Last we worked on getting her to collect for a few strides and then go back to lengthening. I focused, felt her energy and responded with a soft ask -- and she gave me back more than I hoped for.
We ended the lesson with canter work. Again, an improvement in both the quality of the canter and our relaxation as we moved together. After a few times around, Sandy said, "Okay you can come back to trot." And I said, "I don't want to." I was feeling an amazing connection with Lucy; both physically in my hands and seat as well as in our focus and thought. I didn't want it to end. As we walked on a loose rein, I tried to explain to Sandy but got emotional instead. She laughed and said she had heard the catch in my voice.
Sandy thinks Lucy and I have made great progress in this past month. She is surprised at how much we have accomplished. I'd have to agree.
As we were putting Lucy away, Winston's girl arrived to ride him again. She wanted to get him out, tack him up, lunge him and ride him. She wanted to do everything herself. He dove into the halter and sat quietly, with his lower lip twitching in enjoyment, while she groomed him. We watched her ride for a few minutes -- harmonious happiness. Fingers and toes crossed. Vet check is next.