Im going to do a few posts today.
Cruizer had Wednesday off because I had to work. On Thursday I went out to ride without high expectations. On the lunge, he was pretty hyper and energetic. He was definitely feeling good.
I rode in his english bit that he showed in all last year which is just a plain snaffle that is double jointed with a little copper roller in the middle. The copper roller was very important to him because when he got nervous, he would play with it. That is the only kind of bit he liked.
He started out well, but when asked to move into a posting trot he arched his neck, lifted his tail, snorted, and started wagging his head. Generally he only does any of those things when he's very hyper. I put him on more contact but still with plenty of give, at which point he chose to spook at a line in the dirt. For that, I put him onto complete dressage-y contact. He was pissed. He has never been happy about riding completely on contact, but I wasn't playing with him. He had to work.
Our ride was pretty successful and we used his energy in a productive way. We did a whole mess of transitions between the walk, sitting trot, posting trot, and extended trot, complete with random stops, pivots, turns on the forehand, and backing. Once he started settling down (after about 15-20 minutes) he got a walk break. After about 5 minutes of walking on the loose rein, I put him back into the trot with contact. His cantering was very up & down and I could tell he REALLY wanted to run and play. Once again, his rational thinking came through and he decided to behave, although not without snorting and getting very animated. I felt like I was riding a show jumper. It was fun. We actually did get some nice 'hunter under saddle' canter in. The ride was overall successful and I think I got my point across to him that its time to go back to work.
Yesterday I rode but the arena was concrete hard and he slipped on a wet spot during lunging. Under saddle, he would randomly lock up in his right hind for a few strides, so I didn't want to push it. I'm guessing he twisted his leg weird when he slipped. We just focused on basic patterns with only walk and trot. He was pretty good so I called it a day really early.
Today I'm planning on riding him western. We have a western riding and trail clinic tomorrow, which I'm very excited for. He knows most trail obstacles and will do them easily. He has solid simple changes and will give a flying every once in awhile, but by no means does he actually "know" flying changes. It happens as more of a fluke. I'm hoping that we can work on that tomorrow during the western riding portion of the clinic. That is one class I would love to show him in someday. I think I'm just going to put him in a big western O-ring snaffle for the clinic.