We've been blessed with sunny, warm weather all week. I think it's been almost 7 days since it last rained. Unheard of!
Yesterday, I took advantage of the dryness and took another dressage lesson. It was warm and the humidity was low, but Brego was not engaged. It felt like we've had a major regression where he was heavy in front and he felt like he was about ten feet behind my leg. I wormed him on Wednesday morning and I wonder if he was feeling a little under the weather.
So instead of working on the tests for tomorrow's dressage show, we just worked on getting him thinking forward. It ended up being a marathon dressage lesson, just over an hour, and we only took one walk break. The rest of the time was trotting, transitions, canters, halts, turns on the haunches, shoulder ins. I was amazed that instead of getting tired, Brego got softer and more forward. I was exhausted, however!
We ended with some really nice canter work and then I had to call it a day. My trainer was very impressed that Brego even knew some of these moves, even though we did not execute them to perfection. I told her that I have schooled turn on the haunches from the beginning because it disengages his locked shoulders and gets his weight back. The exact exercise was performed trotting a 20m circle. At twelve and six o clock on the circle we reversed direction by transitioning to a walk and performing a walking turn on the haunches and then trot off immediately. Brego did exceedly well at this exercise, with nice crossing over in the front on the turns. I thought it would be too much to ask on that sized circle, but he did very well and it got him stepping up under himself nicely. We also did lengthenings on the long side of the arena and collecting to a volte in each corner. All the transitions worked their magic and we ended up with nice work.
My homework today is to take him for a short gallop to get him thinking forward and then the show is tomorrow. I will not be riding the tests in advance, unfortunately. I will watch videos and try to visualize our ride instead. The ultimate goal is forward so I don't want to drill the tests. I will be tweeting our progress through the show.