This past weekend was a good one for me and Joey. The weather was good enough and both rides were just great.
I've been slowly, slowly working on flying changes with him. Like slowly over years, LOL. Which started with simple changes, then simple changes with only one trot step between, to clunky flying changes to every once in awhile a perfect change.
Last year he was getting pretty good at remembering to complete the entire change and not swap only in front and have to catch up behind. Coming out of the winter back in March, after a few rides, just for fun I asked him to change across the diagonal. Nope, it was a big hop followed by a little buck to catch up the lead and I loosened the reins and just pushed him forward. He wasn't fit enough yet to give what I wanted so I quit and didn't frustrate him.
This weekend was a different story, he's been under saddle 3-4 times a week for the past month. This Saturday I asked for the change across the diagonal after he was well warmed-up and he just did the change and cantered smoothly through the corner! Almost surprised me how effortlessly he did it!
Asked again on Sunday, same result. Then he started thinking every time we circled he was going to be asked to change as he neared the center of the ring. He tries so hard he over thinks what I'm going to do. So I over exaggerated the "hold" with my outside leg and inside bend to direct him and kept pushing forward to keep him from assuming the change. He understood. We jumped a few low fences and quit with that.
It's gotten much harder for me to ride during the week. I live for the weekends. I can't wait to ride my good pony again.