The pole clinic went well! This is our first time over the new poles at Wendy's. Having done coloured poles before, it never struck me to take him over them before we started working with them. His beautiful bascule was from a trot, as he tried to keep us both safe from the blue and black pole monster! (Hubby says the poles are white and gold...!) When I took him back around to walk over it, he didn't want to go anywhere near it, but after 5 or 6 small figures of eight over the poles, we were all good.
I definitely need to take Rio out off the yard for a hack this weekend, as we schooled on Monday night and this morning before the farrier visited. He worked very well both times, and has started to settle more in our outdoor arena. Or maybe that's me. We are working more consistently together, and I have been trying to work more on my breathing to enhance my communication with him. Bringing him down from trot to walk with a sigh along with my aids has proved to work well, but walk to halt still takes a little more.
Today we did some canter work, and although the left rein was a little touch and go, his balance on the right rein was much better. We had a lovely rhythmic 3 beat canter from A, doing a 20m circle, and back up the long side, where I asked him back to trot before the corner. It was the first time I've felt able to ask him to collect a little, as opposed to getting him into the canter and letting him settle into the pace he wants to keep him in the canter! He is also responding much better to my carrying a schooling whip. It is only there for when he pushes through his shoulder, as he's lovely and forward anyway. He's really getting the hang of it now, and as soon as I touch it to his shoulder, he instantly straightens up and moves over. We even managed a bit of leg yield on both reins today (and once in trot too!)
Last night (much to Rio's dismay) was bath time as the temperatures had shot up. He was a bit of a fidget bum, but once he realised that the hose stayed on him no matter where he moved to, he eventually gave in. Well, for a couple of minutes anyway. Then he had to test it again. I did feel a bit bad, as by the end he was shivering as the temperature did seem to dip off all of a sudden. 10 minutes with his waffle rug did the trick to warm him back up again though, and he's lovely and soft today!
I now have a copy of our dressage test, which I will be editing and uploading soon - super excited, you can see our super speedy dressage cantering antics!