After we sat in that exercise for a while, we moved onto our 20m circle. Since I was really trying to keep Koda soft, I wanted to keep the movements simple or slow so that I had the chance to react immediately when he softened to me (easier said than done...). While on the 20m circle I used an exercise that I was taught on my first horse, Dillon (he was in my old header, love you Dill <3) which is trot your circle, alllllmost come to a walk, and right at the point where they're almost going to walk, push onwards into the trot. I haven't thought throught the physics and reasonings behind it, but it really helps my timing of my aids, along with really helped engagement. During this exercise, Koda really put in some lovely work and I discovered one of his 'tricks'. He LOVES to toss his rider off to the right (or I get crooked) going to the right. Something I'll really have to watch since I am right-side dominant, so when I get tossed to the right and I don't realize, those aids become heavier, so we fall out of our circle. All in all, it was a great ride, although I need to be very careful when I give him a break or respite from working, since it will take me a few minutes to bring him back to work. The ideal situation for us - go from the warmup ring straight to the competition ring with no time in between.
While I was putting him away and checking on the rest of the critters, I noticed something that is not good:
warning, slightly gross
I think he caught a cold from the major weather change we had the last few days. It went from a high of 33 Celsius to 36 hours of rain with a high of 16... not good. He was fine while riding except for three snorts during our trot warm-up, so will take a look tomorrow and go from there.
And since I don't want to post just a snotty picture, here's a nicer one:
Got to love timers on cameras!