This is a quite the bi-polar business. It seems as soon as everything is heading in the right direction something throws up a stumbling block. The last two days have been just that. Just as I was finishing a lesson yesterday my student who for two lessons in a row has been learning how to correctly ride a corner with a 5 word question. She first worked on this on one of my horses that is very supple and would give her the correct feeling. Yesterday we transitioned this skill to her own horse who is quite a bit stiffer, and doesn't understand how to yield rib cage. We were making good progress at the walk and jog, so decided to end. Just for fun she went to canter her mare across the pasture. She rode back to me with that 'ah ha' look on her face. "She's stiff..." was all I heard. So happy that we have started to climb to a new high in this student's riding.
Then the low of the night...I am also actively working a sale mare for this student. I have developed a nice relaxed working walk and jog in the mare. We jog a nice 20 meter circle, with several steps of low relaxed head set at a time. I decided it was time to lope this mare off to see what we would have. This mare historically has had some silliness in her so I was prepared for a bolt, or a buck. Instead I had a beach ball under me. The mare was so fearful of forward movement that we weren't going anywhere. She rounded up and tip toed a few strides at a time. Clearly we need to do some free work developing some relaxation at the canter before I ask for it under saddle again. This mare is going to mak someone a very special show horse in a few months time. She is quite the looker, and has a profound desire to please her person. She has just been so over intimidated by humans she is fearful of displeasing anyone that it paralyzes her at times. I can't wait to see how far she takes her future human.
Then the final low of the last 48 hours...2 lessons scheduled for today...2 lame horses. Apparently 1 decided to go rouge yesterday and went running around the pasture. As a result he was stiff in his stifle today, so he's on rest for a week or so. Then the second horse of the day saw the farrier over the weekend, and was a bit sore so he had a day of easy work in the round pen just walking, yielding, and submitting.