10/30: First ride this week because of work, weather, and leaves. Many thanks to my husband for blowing out the arena! I didn't know how Stella would be after such limited turn-out and no riding this week; the girl really needs her exercise. Other than being a little more 'on her toes,' she was good. Wasn't sure I was going to ask her to canter, but when I did, she took the correct lead (right). The canter wasn't nearly as soft and quiet as it had become last week, but that wasn't surprising. Didn't successfully get the left-lead canter for awhile; she took the right lead circling left twice, so we tracked right again so she could take the correct lead on cue. Then we tracked left again and she got the correct lead, so we finished on that positive note and cooled out.
Looks like someone was tightening up an invisible check rein in the above photos!
10/31: A dry Sunday and the arena was still mostly clear of leaves, so two rides in two days; yay! After our warm-up (I always walk her around the arena three times in each direction plus a couple figure-eights on a long rein so both of us warm up our ligaments and joints; I probably need it more than my young mare 😏) I wanted to ride her down through the woods again, but I could hear someone taking advantage of the good weather to grade the gravel road so that was out. We had a good schooling session. When it was time for canter work, I asked for left lead first this time, and she took it beautifully when I moved my right leg back. Same thing circling right; she picked up the correct lead with just a repositioning of my outside leg! I should have quit then, as the rest of the canter work went downhill. She got pretty fussy in the bridle, and didn't get all her leads. She was fussy in the bridle yesterday, too, but I had chalked that up to a week off. Today it was worse, so I checked her wolf teeth after our ride. Their status hasn't changed; one has erupted, two have not, and one is still a no-show/no-feel. She didn't mind me checking, so that wasn't the cause of the fussiness. I was thinking about scheduling another lesson with Suzan this week, but think I'll wait.