First, thank you all for the kind words of wisdom, advice and support. It really helped me feel less alone and brought a smile to my face when I was feeling very low.
I rode tonight for the first time since Monday. When I got to the barn, the first thing I did was follow Saiph's advice and told Ashke everything that I was feeling, how I felt on Monday and why it made me so unhappy. He nipped me. Then everything was fine. His back wasn't sore tonight and he was very happy I was out. I couldn't have asked for better.
The other thing I did was to buy a book called 101 Dressage Exercises. It provides patterns and exercises for a rider to do so we aren't just riding aimlessly around the arena in a circle. That helped a lot tonight. I didn't hate the saddle. He cantered very well for me. I used a lot of verbal commands and he listened. We did a couple of exercises from the book. He has so much power moving forward and I spent time working on slowing him down and stopping him with my seat.
Toward the end, I pulled out a wooden pole and started working him over it. He would anticipate which direction we were going to go, instead of waiting for me to cue him, so I made him trot around in a frame before trying again. At the end of the exercise, he stepped over the pole close to one end, but sidepassed down the pole to the other end of the pole. In both directions. Now, I just have to get him to step up to the end of the pole, sidepass down it, turn around and sidepass back.
He sure seemed happy tonight. Cassandra, who reads my blog, told me next time to tell Ashke verbally upfront when something is bothering me. (See Saiph, great minds think alike.)
This weekend is going to be jammed packed.