Wednesday night I purposely took care of Stampede first before riding Phoenix so I could have the ring to myself. It had been a long day at work, and I wanted to be able to focus on my riding and not have to keep my radar up for other horses in the ring. I turned on some music and got to work after my ten minute walk warm up. Once I got moving I can’t say I really even noticed the music, P and I were in the zone. Haunches in, shoulders in, circling around jumps, and doing figure eights around the ring at the trot. Lots of transitions between trot and canter to try to get him to settle into the downward transitions more. Finished up with some counter canter and then trot circles until he was relaxed. Not necessarily anything amazing during the ride, but it was awesome to get in the zone completely and forget about everything else. Often that is something I can only doing while jumping.
Thursday I ended up riding much longer than I intended. There were trot and canter poles set up in the ring, so Stampy and I played with those. Worked on collection and extension, then let him go long and low at the trot for a while. Also did a quick loop of my favorite counter canter exercise where I hold the same lead through an entire figure eight. Smart Stampy always does it so well.
Friday I got out of work a little early and hurried to the barn. Got another ride in on Mr P out in the field. Nice easy hack, but made him do trot and canter to the right then canter before trot to the left. He was fired up at first about trotting after all the cantering, but he settled in and finished up well. Took him on a short trail ride afterwards.
Got Stampede all cleaned up after I finished riding P so he would be ready for a clinic I did this morning. I’ll do a separate post about that soon, but he was really good!