This was our third lesson in a row (one time a week) and we mostly worked on the things that will help Ashke canter. After the adjustment last Friday, he's just been a bit off and seemed to be favoring his right front last night. I can't see any reason why, nor can I find any tightness in his body, other than he really wants me to scratch his withers (this is normal and happens all the time) to explain the hesitation we could see.
That said, he is also really struggling to maintain his lead, when being asked to ride with contact and bend. I know this is new to him, but he needs to understand that hard is not something to be feared and that cross-cantering is never the answer. We started with haunches in along the fence line one time in each direction and Amanda said he did really well. Then we moved inside (the outside arena is a little hard) and worked on the trotting circles in random directions to give Ashke something to do that he knows really well.
He was much better holding contact and switching bends from one direction to another. Then we did the trotting spiral to help him with the bend and his leg yields out on the circle at the trot were very good. We then did that exercise at the canter. To the right he was so much better than he was a week ago and I can see where the adjustment is helping, however, he was much worse to the left. In fact, the argument we got into I'm pretty sure ended with me threatening to sell him. It frustrates me a lot and I wasn't serious (no more serious than when I threatened to sell T to the Rom). I think he may be dealing with some sore muscles in his chest and shoulders from the adjustment. And in his hips as well. They do seem to be getting better, but he is having some hesitation in pushing off with one front foot to go to the side, and it seems to be happening in both directions. He had a couple of times where he felt off and Amanda could see it, but it's not enough to even be considered lame. Just NQR.
We had a moment when Ashke was refusing to maintain his left lead canter but we worked through it and the last two canter circles were amazing (one in each direction). The one to the right even involved a leg yield to the rail coming off the circle. The one to the left, we just worked on a decent circle. Our stretchy trot was much improved and then we worked on square turns (good) and finished up with working on the two 10m half circles from the test. Ashke did those very, very good and I'm feeling like they should be much improved on the test.
We were both hot and sweaty and enjoyed the cold spray from the hose (his body and my head) and then tucked him into the stall with treats since I forgot his treat bucket. I suck as a horse owner.
I also wanted to say that I really like the TSF girth. It is a 48" jumping girth, very well made with great leather. Ashke seems to like it a lot and for the first time since I started putting a girth on him, he didn't grunt and blow up when it touched his belly. Although, I did not get it tight enough and Amanda had to tighten it one notch during our ride. Oooppss. Good thing my saddle fits well.