Ashke was a dirty mess. It looked like he had rolled in turn-out that afternoon, or slept in the sun on his left side. Since this was the way in which he so badly damaged his mane that I was forced to roach it, I'm just as glad that it is still standing straight up in the air. It looks really cute too!
I groomed him until he was white again, and then got him tacked up.
The indoor was almost completely empty, and Jtender followed me in with Jackson, so we weren't completely alone. Ashke did walk-trot transitions and did them very well. We did two trot-canter transitions, one on the straight away and the other that we bent into a 20' circle at one end of the arena. He is finally bringing his head down and lifting himself at the canter, plus his balance has gotten so much better.
My things to work on: don't lean forward when cuing the canter. This is a horrible habit from my western riding days. I lean forward and bring my hands forward, completely dropping contact with his mouth. I do it without thinking about it and really focused on Monday at keeping my back straight and my hands still with contact when asking him to canter.
We did the canter twice in each direction and then I started talking with Jtender, who is from India and had never ridden before moving to America. He is always decked out in Western cowboy attire, rides a QH reining horse and was in love with all things cowboy before moving out west. We were discussing the pros and cons of dowry and arranged marriages vs Match or Harmony.com. It was good practice for Ashke to stand still, which he just really doesn't understand, although he cocked a foot and did it. After our twenty minute conversation I didn't feel like it was fair to ask him to work again, so we were done. (And I needed to get home.)
Hopefully, tonight we will be able to work on the trot-canter transitions and canter gait in general without being distracted by marriage customs in other countries. I am such an extrovert with an open mind: I can honestly talk to anyone about any thing. A trait that J both admires and finds disturbing. It is also a quality that my son approaches with trepidation, since I have been known to take his questions at face value and answer them in Target, which is frankly mortifying to a almost 14 year old boy.
Good rule of thumb: don't ask sex questions in public if you don't want a public answer.