Ashke was very itchy during grooming. He backed his tail into the wall when I was grooming him with the rubber curry comb. He is really beginning to enjoy the feeling of getting the loose hair and dirt off of him. He even let J brush out his entire tail, which was completely filled with sawdust. The saddling was pretty calm, although he still does not like the girth at all. I'm still not happy with the saddle blanket and hope it begins to break in soon. However, it doesn't seem to bother him once it's on and in place.
We worked in the big arena for 30 - 40 minutes. We started by walking around the arena and getting accustomed to the feel of the saddle, the air, the space, and the horses that are around. Ashke likes to stop and try to rub his head on me, or he looks at stuff, or he checks out the horses that are around. Last night, J hung her sweat shirt from a hook by the gate and it was blowing and moving in the wind. This became a source of concern to Ashke. The good thing was it kept him from wanting to walk over to the gate and stop.
Ashke is letting me mount without moving, but then moves away and won't stand still. As you can see from the video.
He worked so well at the trot. He settled into a relaxed running walk trot (I don't know how else to describe it) and did circles in both directions. He is picking up on my subtle cues and with the exception of suddenly stopping in mid-stride, seems to be pretty interested in what we are doing.
He is giving better to the left but was a little stiff to the right. Practice and consistency is what is required.
I rode longer than we have in the past. I want to stretch him a bit and work on building up his strength. He hasn't gotten sweaty yet, just warm. Increased his breathing, but not to the point of huffing. And he still has enough breath to snort. At the fence. Every time we went around. Pesky sweatshirt!
He lifted into the dancing trot that Arabs can do but we didn't get it on camera. I can't emphasize how happy I am with this horse.