After playing with Emi, I headed up to NDF for a ride on Benny. We have a horse show in two weeks so there's no more time to be slacking off. The hay is off of the fields so it was lovely to be able to warm up out there.
We went in to the arena to do our work and Benny was stretchy from the moment we picked up the trot. This is very unusual for him, but it was a nice change. I was just reading an article in Warmbloods Today that immediately struck me. "The challenge is to make this trot ride-able, quicker and more engaged, as suspension tends to stiffen the back and disengage the horse. Think of a dear trotting in a slow, stiff, elegant trot across the road, versus a tiger swinging in all his joints in a nice tempo but not high suspension." That describes Benny to a T. Left to his own devices (like a loose rein trot warm up) he stiffens right up, head high, and trots in a huge bouncy "arab trot."
I'm thrilled that he is getting stronger in all of his work. The canter has improved immensely, his lateral work is coming along, and overall the connection is so much better. I'm excited to see if we can put all of the pieces together for a great test at the horse show.