I came up with that joke before I even got on today. Canter poles change me. The past two rides have been just like Wednesday, except we were outside and in the bridle. The big outdoor is concrete until the next rain, so the small outdoor has been my safe haven.
It's been quite a bit of work for both Baby and I, especially with the heat factor. Luckily, we've been spared with the humidity, but even the light long sleeve shirts are going to need to be retired soon. We're still getting a good amount of sweat, despite her being almost entirely shed out.
The biggest issue yesterday was focus. She was very looky on the spooky end of the arena, which is understandable, but then it extended past that end because everything outside of the ring is apparently very interesting. Once I got to the polework and the cross bar, it was me who was losing focus (and my leg). So, the first part of our ride was me keeping her together, and the second part was her wondering why I wasn't keeping it together. Oh well, we still got a trot over with good halts, and the poles were all fantastic.
I had some more fun afterwards too, which included two failed attempts at going over the crossrail. In her defense, we jumped towards the spooky end when I rode and away from it when I got off. Baby can't handle my indecisiveness.
Today was even better. She paid attention more, and every couple of laps, she would go past the spooky end without hollowing out and looking off into the distance. She's accepting the bit better and better with every ride, which is making me feel better about my hands, but I am still nit picking about them. She was quite behind the leg today. Maybe she's tired after three days in a row of real riding. I'm letting her break until at least Monday, but she's getting a bath tomorrow. A clean mammoth is a happy mammoth.
I used every pole available today. There were trot poles, canter poles, then trot poles to the crossbar, and a single canter pole in front of a 2' fence. Yeah, I'm upping the ante. I think doing the canter fence at the end of a ride during which she was entirely behind my leg is the main reason why she was so calm to it (and we got a super duper halt afterwards). I felt very secure over the fence as well, which is equally as important as her demeanor. I think going back to simpler things is letting her calm down about jumping. I am itching to get back in the big outdoor so I can continue trotting through the standards. Lord, let it rain.