We had a bit of a heat wave the last couple of weeks and it was nice, sort of. Royal's been getting his winter coat, so unexpected heat waves can be hard on him. But mid-week, fall arrived with a bang. Temperatures went from the 70s-80s to the 50s-60s. I've been pretty busy, but still went out to the farm for some Night Riding. One of the perks of having an indoor arena at the farm. I found the big door open despite the cold and wind, and tried to close it. What followed was me pushing against the door with my 115lb. frame and growling "damn you, static friction!" under my breath. Despite my efforts, I didn't close the door, but the wind wasn't too bad in the arena.
After getting Royal, I realized he'd gone tramping through BOTH kinds of burr bushes, big and small. So, I had to get those out before I tacked him up and started out. After our first circuit around the arena, I saw that the moon had risen and was visible from the door. Well, I suppose it was a semi-good thing I hadn't been able to close the door.
Sorry for the crappy pics. My cell phone apparently does not like taking pictures at night.
After that, we did a basic little warm up before playing Seven Games with a little cross-rail. Friendly, Porcupine, and Yo-Yo/Squeeze went well, but my combination of Circling and Driving sent Royal in hyper-mode. It started well enough, but soon he wanted to canter around the small little circle, which was just not possible. We had a little discussion about the appropriate speed for tiny cross-rail, and finished with a little Game of Contact/connection with the reins. He's still learning that Finesse is supposed being where we hold each others' hand, not where Royal flips out and Renee gets frustrated. He made some great progress, so I ended on a good note.
This afternoon, we had another light ride. Some wtc, with another little bit of rein connection, which he did fantastically at. After a little bit, I really felt him stretch into the contact, but without leaning. Something I've never felt before, and it was cool. I feel like we're really coming together.