Or so I thought. This morning our lovely spring weather faded back into a cold, gray rain. I have no compunctions about riding in wet weather, but it adds an unnecessary element of discomfort to training exercises. So I mucked the paddock, fed the horses and got a heck of a lot of work done (the kind I get paid for), though not before takings some close-up pictures of the horses from the dry warmth of our bedroom. I like David's new lens!
At 17:30 the clouds parted a little, a bit of sun shone through, and I got Raven tacked up for a quickie. After some reading and some thinking I decided to remove the caveson (nose band) from her bridle to allow greater motion of her jaw, and more room to escape pressure from the bit on the roof of her mouth. Overall things went really well. I had to modify the one-rein halt somewhat, as she simply would not come to a stop without some pressure from the outside rein (posing a threat to both of us). Still, an hour of concentrated effort produced a horse who was much more willing to hold her "whao" and who was starting to respond to lighter contact from the bit for gait transitions. She got a completely loose rein when she was doing as I wanted, and several times at the halt she turned her head to look at me over her shoulder. It feels like progress.
In other news Tonka has a tiny cut on his lip that produces an alarming amount of blood. It's hard to get a good look at because he shakes it around like crazy when I poke and prod (don't you just love horses lips?), but I suspect it was a splinter from the feeder. Let's hope it heals quickly, because the red droplets all over the paddock look awful!