So, I went out last night with high hopes of beating the rain, and it turns out, we did! The North Carolina summer weather is starting to roll in, which last night meant HIGH humidity and fairly high heat. In other words, five minutes into our trot work, we were both glossed over with humidity and sweat. Horses are such a glamorous life!
The upside to the summer weather is that Delilah can be a total star when it starts heating up. My trainer has always described Thoroughbreds as "weather vanes", which is so true. The slightest change in weather pattern or temperature can equal a huge swing in temperment. Well, we started out with our trot work, working on correct bend and not ducking her head too low. Things were going impressively well, so I threw in a little work on lateral movement. Our trainer started teach us the turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches this past weekend, so we worked on that. She is such a smart little mare. She grasps new concepts so quickly. As long as she doesn't get overly opinionated, she can be quite the star.
Everything kept going smoothly, so I utilized my husband's presence to work on our new training program. We are trying to work on her not getting strung out at the canter or over fences. We have been using a person standing at the end of the arena with treats to be a "reward" for jumping calmly, cantering off, and then stopping after a straight line of cantering. She started out great, hopping lazily over a little crossrail, trotting or sometimes cantering off, and then stopping to collect her treat. She started to get a little amped up, and on one attempt picked up a canter stride before the fence instead of after. Because of taking the canter stride in, she chose the BIG takeoff spot, and sort of launched and cracked her back - and could have easily cleared a three foot fence. Strangely enough, it didn't phase me. I got thrown off balance a little bit, but it was completely recoverable, and we went right into doing it two more times. She got a little worked up the second to last time, when I had my husband move back so we could canter a little longer. She refused to listen to the halt aids, and started spinning around a bit. So after my husband got his heart rate back down from running away like a madman, we put him back on the rail and did it one more time. Perfect trot in, calm easy jump, and a soft canter depart. Smooth halt at the end of the arena. I hopped off, loosened her girth, and finished for the night. And proceeded to float around with giddyness for the rest of the evening!