This past Monday was family day up here so I had the day off from work, so of course... Pony time! I went out in the afternoon to take advantage of the max amount of sunlight/heat possible. Sadly, this was not the case since by the time I got out there, it was only -6 but with the windchill, it was more like -20. Ah well, this is why I have the winter riding gear, so bundled up we went down the road and back on a nice hack. I debated grabbing the quarter sheet, but since he's never had it on before and it was rather windy, I figured I didn't want to get tangled in it this ride.
I'm starting to notice a pattern with Koda when we hack out alone. He will jig and be a bit of a goose for the first few minutes, then will be an idiot until you get either his brain or feet (or preferably both) working. This hack, we went down the ploughed road, so no worries about deep snow, so off we went for a relatively long trot down the road. Once that first trot finished, Koda calmed down and walked like a relatively relaxed pony. We did a second trot set to the end of the road and then turned for home.
And that's where the fun began.
Koda has started being this turkey who thinks that he can get away with prancing and having baby temper tantrums on the way home if he is made to walk. For a good half kilometer, he pranced and danced. The more I got into his face, the worse it was, so I resorted to my seat. I am SO thankful I was reading "Training the Three Day Event Horse" by Wofford before I went out. In the dressage section, it talks about the seat and how it should be balanced between the two seat bones and the pelvis. The book continues and states that once balanced between these three bones, the rider can stay with any motion of the horse. I put this to practise and engaged those seat bones, keeping my weight balanced between those three bones, and sat deep and asked/demanded Koda match his walk with my seat. It really did help with his jigging. After that first 1/2 kilometer home, he settled down and walked relatively nicely.
I'm not quite sure what this dancing, jigging thing was with Koda since last year even by myself we could walk home on the buckle. Maybe it's him wanting to get back home to the herd, perhaps it's him testing my leadership position since I haven't been his alpha from the saddle in a while, but who knows. We'll see how it develops with more hacks. When we got home, we did some very nice work in the yard with some turns on the haunches, and some very fun (and silly) ground work. Koda's attitude is starting to show and I'm secretly loving it!
Sorry for the tl:dr post, but it was a very cool ride and day with my boy :)