I didn't post last night because I was TIRED as hell.
But I rode Amber yesterday evening. She was pretty ready to come in, actually. She looked kind of irritated with her other female pasture mates who were being...mares.
Anyway, we lunged for a few minutes, also on the scary side of the arena and she did really, really well.
Then we walked and trotted around. She was doing good. Wanted to be a little quick (I didn't lunge her as long as I had the first day, and it was cooler). But not to the degree she *was*. Then we tried come canter. That developed into super fast canter that she did not want to come down from. And then, I had a realization. She's full of freaking ENERGY. She's bored. She wants to let it out. I haven't REALLY worked her in a month. Things have been wonky all the way around.
So...maybe she just needs an outlet? Although careening around the arena isn't the best way for her to do so...
I'm thinking we need to re-establish what half halts mean. She has no trouble stopping, and I suppose she wasn't REALLY out of control. But when you increase the firmness of the half halt she just puts on full brakes. I mean, TO A FREAKING HALT.
So she's not trying to be bad, but she just knows she's a) full of energy, and b) you told her she could go faster, and c) when she feels pressure on her mouth, that means time to stop.
So tomorrow...as much as I want to canter with her (admittedly, it's kind of fun going fast...I hate it and love it at the same time. I know she's not working properly, that part I hate, but the feeling is fantastic!) I'm going to set up some ground poles. We will use those to work on lengthening her stride. And to keep her from being bored. I have a feeling she's going to jump the ground poles, but at least she'll be having fun and perhaps start to look forward to real work again.
Big, big part of the work will be suppling, listening to my leg and practicing half halts at the trot. Lots of praise ready and waiting to go when it clicks. I need to start using my freaking leg on her again. I've been avoiding it because she's been so speedy when I want her to work at a slower pace, but that's a subconscious choice because I KNOW I really need to put that leg on and get her up onto the bit, and just slow down my seat movement.
Kind of wondering where in the world my head has been lately. It's so obvious why she's been acting "odd". She has been out of work! She's a young horse and she's forgotten a few basics. And when I act confused as to why this is, it just confuses her more. Perhaps I got too used to Jack. Took for granted a horse that I had gotten to the point where he knew what to do at the most subtle aid, and he knew what those aids meant - well enough not to forget it very easy!
I need to keep reminding myself I'm working with a greenie. She's got a lot yet to learn and when we don't work consistently, she will forget and I can't just expect to do everything as normal - it could take a week, it could take a month to get all the "controls" back in place.