Today I had my riding lesson. Big Chief White Cloud was back in action. No sign of the swelling that halted us in our tracks last weekend. He was quite chilled out today and we worked on managing speed, with transitions from trot to walk, and trot to halt. Then we did lengthening and slowing his lovely bold trot. We did some leg yields at trot, then had a go at canter. Oh my goodness his canter is like being launched into space with every stride. I'm not sure I'll ever master it.
After tucking Chief back into his cover and putting him in his paddock, I took a crazy roundabout back road route through West Melton to visit Zanny. She was in a peaceful mood, and seems to be getting used to our little routine. We had the arena all to ourselves, which made a huge difference to what we could do. I worked on using the arena with control, and had her trotting nicely with no head flapping. We did some leg yields at walk. She was great at that! I don't think we'll trot leg yields while she is pregnant, as I'd hate her to trip with the crossing legs. I had a go at walking circles without stirrups, and might try at trot next time. I wasn't quite brave enough to cross the stirrups over the saddle. Zanny actually looked after me really carefully without stirrups, which was probably because I was sitting very deep in the saddle, which slowed her down. We did canter circles, and on the last one I pulled out of the circle and we cantered down the long side of the arena. Brave!!! I sat her jarring canter better today. After our time in the arena I took her for a walk down the long drive to the gate and back up to the stables. She was all alert and not quite sure about hacking without a mate, but we did great. I wonder if we could try heading down the road a little bit?
It was a great idea to ride Zanny straight after Chief because I was already in riding mode, and wasn't as nervous initially. Monday is our next ride, hopefully.