I'm slowly but surely getting Bear back into the swing of things. I hopped on him bareback on Friday, just because I had so little time. I had turned him out in the big arena to run around and buck while I lunged Lola. She didn't get ridden because we were going to have back to back shows this weekend. So then I let her go and threw a bridle on him and hopped on with the bareback pad. He was great. We worked on lots of big circles, and then small circles, keeping a bend. We worked on walk halt transitions, since he's pretending to forget this one, he stops, just not perfectly. It doesn't help that I'm comparing him to Lola who has stopped on a dime since the day I got on her!
Then today after the show with Lola, I got Bear out to work. I threw the western saddle on him since we'll be starting up teaching my boyfriend how to work and ride him, and we'll be going out for lots of trail rides with friends now that the weather is awesome. Once I had it all cinched down, I realized there was not clearance at his withers! The saddle just doesn't fit anymore! Its so frustrating because this is the saddle I broke him in! It should fit! Why doesn't it fit? He lost so much weight at the other boarding place... I haven't had it on him since January when I was using him to pony Lola. Then he started loosing weight because it was a cold hard winter, but he never gained it back despite 15 acres of green spring grass. Hopefully we're back on our way to being up to weight.
I lunged him in the saddle anyway, but he twisted and kicked out with front and back feet when he picked up the canter like it was pinching him. He got over it quick, so I don't think it was all that bad. Still, once I finished lunging him with the sided reins I took the saddle off and threw it on the fence and got on bareback instead. He's such a good boy. We did lots of walk work, circles, halts, moving his shoulders or haunches around, then halts. We even did some little walk-jog-walk transitions, keeping it really slow so that I didn't get bounced right off! I want him to be very cautious about his rider being secure on his back when my boyfriend gets on him, so bareback is a good warm up for that.
Watching him canter on the lunge line makes me realize how much he's matured since last spring. He's so light and graceful on the lunge line! I just love watching him!
Still most of the big new is over on Lola's blog. We had our first dressage show today! Video and everything! Check it out. http://mytrainingproject.blogspot.com I'm just beaming I'm so proud! Now that I've broken into the world of dressage shows (or I should say small community of local dressage schooling shows) I feel a whole lot more confident about getting out there and doing it! I hope to have Bear doing Training level tests this fall once I'm back from the summer.