I think I know what was wrong with Amber yesterday.
It was extremely cold, so everyone was inside all day. Amber likes her stall in foul weather, but she doesn't consider cold to be foul weather, and she wanted to be outside. Today she got to go out and she was much more cheerful. I love how she comes over when you call her name! She seemed glad to see me, and I tacked her up and we got to work.
The head was better today. She still 'bobs' a little. She gets down on the bit for a few seconds, and then something will catch her eye and I have to get her attention back. But give and release (without throwing away the contact) seems to do wonders for her.
Her hind end was working today much more than it has been. Andrea said she could tell. She was a little softer at the trot, but still has a way to go. However, progress is progress. We've been at this a week. While I've ridden her for a few months already, we never did 'real' dressage work. She's new at this, and I keep that in mind.
Canter transitions were okay. Not as nice as yesterday, but the quality of the canter itself was better, and she even did a nice 20m circle for me. Her circles are 100000x better now. Going across the diagonal is 100% better. Her leg yields are improving. She's learning fast and I think she likes it!
Her only thing is learning patience. When we were cooling out, she saw some people standing around in front of the barn and wanted to get pissy with me because I wouldn't allow her to go over to the fence. She's an attention hound, and not being able to go over there made her mad. I was determined that she could pull in that direction all she wanted, but I would spin her around all day until she stood still. Finally, she gave up the fight and NOT at the gate. And I got off. Hopefully it will get into her head that she finishes a lot quicker when she behaves.
I notice she gets a little more rushy and on the forehand towards the end of our workout. Little less easy to get back. When she gets this way, I make her work properly, then end the session. She's not conditioned and what she is doing is hard for her, so while I want her to understand that she doesn't get to say when we are done, I also don't want to overwork her, so I try to be attentive to when she's tired and has worked enough for one day.
I need a cooler though! She worked up a sweat today in 30 degree weather. She stayed in her stall until she dried off.
That's Tater, the barn mascot. He decided that the feed room is his stall. Isn't he ADORABLE?
When I went to put my saddle pads away, I was unable to do so because this fluffy ball of cuteness had decided to take a nap on top of them!