I was able to ride Cruizer on Friday and Saturday last week in addition to the previous rides I blogged about.
Friday he was very good, although VERY forward. I rode him again in the western saddle and shanked bit only because I still wanted a bit extra control/security, and I was unable to ride him on Thursday because of work. He was quiet, but hit trot was HUGE (bigger than I wanted) and he really didn't want to take it down a notch. I decided not to argue too much about it, although you better believe I made sure my fingers were closed, heels were down, and seat was back just in case he went airborn. He was able to burn off a lot of energy from power trotting around for twenty minutes, and I decided not to canter him that day. On days when he is very forward he also tends to be very bucky. There were a couple green lessons in the arena, so I opted to play it safe and just trot him a lot.
Saturday I decided to ride in my County and my hunt bridle with a snaffle. I noticed on the lunge with the western saddle Cruizer was dropped his shoulders a lot, not lifting, and not wanting to go forward at the canter so much. He also was going around with his ears in "mid position," while usually he has his hears perked all the way forward when he is working. Slight differences, but I wanted to see if it would change. Saturday he lunged with his bridle on, reins behind the cantle of the saddle, and secured with the strirrup leathers over them (to clarify, my reins for him are 72 inches long, he has a very long neck, and still has enough slack in them for lunging like this). This time he moved out willingly, with ears all the way forward, and was licking and chewing a lot. Much better. I think that the western saddle is just not fitting him quite as well anymore.
Our ride saturday was AWESOME. We trotted (again was very forward, but eventually relaxed and slowed down his legs while keeping the stride long), cantered a lot both directions, and did some turns on the forehand. I don't know if it was the change in tack or if he was just feeling better that day, but we had a blast.
Yesterday he got his teeth done. I will update more about that later.