Friday, I was home early enough that Brett and I had time to ride before chores and dark. Lucy was in heat, which normally isn't a problem. Sure she fidgets a bit at the tie rail and is a bit sluggish in our warm up but she has never been moody. Until today. I'm sure it was because she isn't in regular work. Regular work is the cure for attitude in my experience; regular boundaries; regular expectations; regular stretching of those muscles that get sore; especially in weekend-warrior work.
Lucy wanted to be focused on everything except me. She was in a PMS kind of mood. I swear, I heard her singing to herself "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, and here I am stuck in the middle with you."
Mufasa was to our right, where he and Brett were working in the top half of the arena. Jackson was to our left, watching over his pasture fence. And she was stuck in the middle with me on her back. ...not to mention the dog. Kersey had followed us up to the dressage court. Normally, she lays in front of the barn and watches us from a distance. To make matters worse, Kersey decided to go for a swim in the stream that runs along the long side of the dressage court. Lucy heard Kersey rustling and splashing and when Kersey bounded up the bank and gave a good shake, Lucy gave a good buck. Then she planted all four feet and snorted. I ignored it and asked her to keep on working. I try very hard to stay focused, especially when Lucy gets distracted. If we both lose our focus, we lose our connection and communication. When I stay focused, Lucy sighs and comes right back to me, trusting that the distraction isn't anything to worry about.
It was harder today. I used transitions to keep her focus on our work. Walk-trot. Trot-walk. Trot-halt. Halt-trot. Trot-canter (gallop anyone?) um, 15m circle and right back to trot. With Lucy, I always reserve the right to change my mind. I changed it a lot today.