Last night I headed to the barn, lunged Cruizer in side reins for about fifteen minutes, which he was not thrilled with, but tolerated.
I then washed his legs, because they were covered in mud & he has very sensitive skin. I really don't want him developing a skin infection or something of the sort. I then did night chores, and got him ready to ride. He was really good! I rode in the english bit again, and there was no fighting or anything. After rail work I did some pattern stuff, which he was much better at than the day before. I don't remember if I mentioned it or not, but in the past two days he did officially get started on equitation. We just did some simple stuff.. trot, canter a circle, stop, back, things like that. He stayed nice and relaxed. We then tried a simple lead change, which is where we ran into our only problem. He decided he did not have to wait for my cue, since HE knew what we were doing, so as soon as we got to the center he would stop and swap leads. Sigh, Cruizer. How is it that a five year old can make this so difficult, not because he's an ass, but because he knows what we're doing and doesn't want to wait for my cue (maybe he thinks I'm taking forever, who knows with him). So we schooled WAITING for awhile, like.. fifteen minutes ( :] ) of straight cantering, because he kept doing it on his own, then refusing to break to a trot and loping this tiny little hole in the ground, and being generally impatient. His canter was quite fluid though through all of his sillyness. Anyway finally he waited and did it decently so I called it a day. I love this horse. His intelligence is an awesome thing in some ways.. for example last year we practiced showmanship maybe once a month or twice a month and walked away with a top ten (fourth place) finish in showmanship at state out of 80+ exhibitors. Other times, like simple lead change practice, his intelligence gets in the way because he picks up on everything so quickly that he just does it whenever he feels like instead of waiting. He tries so hard to please though. One of my favorite qualities in him is his willingness to please. Seriously, he is pretty much the most willing horse I have ever ridden.