I had a fantastic ride on Chevy tonight. He has had the last 2 days off as I have had plans. It was still quite warm when I got out to ride him around 5:30 tonight. I wasn't feeling super motivated but knew I needed to ride. We have a horse show only 2 weeks away and I would like to be as prepared as possible. I started our ride but riding him on the quarter line and establishing forward at the trot. He tends to be lazy and has to test the waters to see if I am really serious that he needs to go forward. When I picked up my reins to ask him to trot the first time he got asked a couple times to pick up the trot before he got a sharp smack with my whip. He hopped to it and we trotted down the rail before I brought him back to the walk and tried again. He went promptly into the trot the second time around. I focused on keeping my leg long and active, and also turning my body with him. Once I got him really moving forward I asked him to soften to the bit and he easily became round and soft. We did lots of changes of direction and some transitions.
We got our best canter transitions ever tonight. Previously he has been super lazy about them, running in to the canter or just barely responding when I ask him to go. I have been reinforcing my request with both the whip and my voice. We only had one or two bad transitions up to the canter and three or four very prompt good ones. I was glad to see some improvement with those. He was also the most forward he has ever been with me. Totally ready to go and listening to what I want. I'm still having trouble with him falling through my aids on his left side. I think we will definitely need to turn on to the center line from the left for this first show. Otherwise we may totally miss the center line. Oops! I've also been throwing in a few forehand turns every ride which seem to be getting a little bit. We added a very small amount of leg yielding at the walk tonight. He's very bendy through his neck so I am really going to have to work at keeping him straight while we practice it. We also started playing with a trot lengthening and some stretchy trot. I was really pleased with how engaged he was in our work tonight. Auntie Tarra may take him for a spin tomorrow.