I think it is officially summer. I spent 4 glorious hours at the barn today, doing a whole bunch of nothing. Well, maybe not nothing, but certainly taking my time "working".
I started with some longing in side reins to work on balance through transitions. Brego did very well and needed little support off the line to keep a nice bend around the (smallish) circle. He's a smart cookie, so his circle radius has to be exactly the length of the longe whip. Three inches larger and he refuses to do anything.
I then dressed him for success in dressage and we worked on canter circles and staying light and soft. He did really well, even with the heat, and I feel like we had a real break through on his shoulder in to the left which is his stiff side. He had nice thin "lipstick" after the ride. Not foamy, but definitely softening.
After we schooled dressage, I gave him a twenty minute break while I switched saddles to his jumping saddle. The barn owner wanted to take him for a spin in the outdoor. I admit it, I rounded up all the barn girls and told them that the barn owner was going to jump Brego (although she had no intention of doing so) so there was a nice audience in attendance for her inaugural ride. After much cajoling, she did canter him down the outside line and they both did super. His jumping was really soft today, which maybe points to him needing more bending flatwork before jumping sessions in the future.
This picture was taken after the ride. He looks a little pooped, but I wanted to show off his new clip in the sun. He's a good weight these days, putting muscle on in all the right places. I am aware that most black horses fade in the sun. The thing that is really weird about Brego, however, is that I had a second Percheron in Texas, in the exact same sun and exact same living conditions, and she hardly faded, if at all. Brego is just lucky, I guess.
After the ride, I took off my shoes and we went for a swim in the pond. Brego loves to swim and he's actually quite proficient at it. The pond at the barn is not really big enough to swim across, so I guess I should say we went for a wade. I then lazed on his back while he grazed under the shade of a tree. There was a light breeze, the flowers were blooming, the grass was high and the sky was impossibly blue. It was a perfect day.