Lucy has more buttons that I can push than any other horse I've ever had. This morning I found more. We were working on trot-walk-trot transitions so I could practice my half-halts and she could practice balance. We trot in a nice frame, then I slow her trot, drop to a walk -- for a couple strides -- then go back into trot. We were down at the far end of the arena and when I asked her to go back into trot she cantered instead. A light bulb went off -- she knows how to do walk to canter transitions! We tried a few -- ooh la la. I've never ridden transitions like that -- smooth and easy and balanced like the fancy upper level riders do on their horses.
In addition to transitions, we did some more counter-canter and a few leg yields. We started our warm up by walking around outside the dressage court. Lucy loved it and was stretching down nicely so we went into the arena.
At about that time, Tuffy and Finessa decided to do laps in their pasture which is right at the base of the dressage court. They were racing each other, with puffs of dust coming up from their little hooves, screeching to a stop, climbing on top of each other, snorting, and taking off again. It was a bit much for Lucy. She threw her head in the air and stopped, snaking her neck back and forth like a cobra. I was concerned for a moment.
Then I remembered... this is Lucy, not Winston. I can ask Lucy to ignore the donkeys and she will. I took a firm contact with the outside rein and squeezed with my legs. She said, "oh, okay" and went forward nicely. No more silliness. No argument. No fight.
Just happiness. Pure harmonious happiness. Pinch me.