After a beautiful Saturday, the weather fairy decided to hit us with the trifecta of rain, sleet and snow on Sunday. I procrastinated most of the morning (I really wanted to hibernate) but finally dragged my lazy self out to the farm. Thankfully, Alex had been brought in early out of the nasty weather (yay!).
Lunging, riding and jumping were slightly better, so there was improvement and that's about the best I can say. His flat work included a few less "rodeo moments" and there was only a slight hesitation at the cross-rail. After the initial hesitation, Alex went back to wanting to jump so badly he was about to explode with anticipation and anxiety. All I could do is try to sit quiet and give a rewarding release over the fence. Thus ended another ride with both Alex and I sweating, but upright.
Today was another nasty rainy day, which didn't do much to motivate me, but I dragged myself out the farm anyways. Alex had obviously been in all day, which on the one hand was awesome because he wasn't out in the crappy weather being rained on all day, but on the other hand kinda sucked because he'd been in since early afternoon on Sunday. I prepared myself for another rodeo.
Lunging was better and flat work started better but then went 180 degrees in the other direction. All Alex wanted to do was canter... he'd stretch at the trot, start to get rushy and then launch himself into the canter. He'd already done a fair amount of cantering on the lunge and I cantered him a fair amount, because it seemed to calm him, but finally I had to draw the line... he was exhausted even if in typical TB style he didn't think so. There was no hesitation at the cross-rail today, which was good, but now he's just rushing over it and not really paying attention. I'm still hoping this anxiety will cease once we get back into a regular routine and we have several rides where the jumps don't try to "eat" him.
My goal is to get back to a very small grid by this weekend. I'd like to get the cross-rail back to a respectable height. The one we've been working over is tiny. He hasn't touched anything since the "incident," but I just don't want to regress. I think at this point, more than anything, he needs that trot pole to help him get the "bounce" step he needs to take off. I was wrong to start working without that so soon. He's smart, but he needs lots of repetition.
Tomorrow will be four days in a row and goodness gracious this rodeo has got to end! No one ever said training a horse was boring :-)