He wasn't too sore to ride, though, which was nice. :) He did object more than usual to the flash, so I left it looser than even I usually do with him. He was barely accustomed to a cavesson when I got him, so I'm not pushing the issue of the flash. It's normally a bit tighter than I had it, though.
|See? Not too tight. And dramatic evening|
lighting, to boot! Thanks for holding him, MR!
Anyway, we had a really nice ride. :) I'm starting to figure out my balance on him and how he likes to be ridden. He really goes best with full leg contact all the time -- not heavy, like an aid, but definitely there and ... well, I think of it as reassuring. Seems like he really gains confidence and relaxation from his rider, way more so than Reveille ever did. I mean, that sounds obvious, but it's kind of new to me. Anyway, so I'm learning how to maintain that leg contact. And he prefers a light contact in the rein. Again, obvious, but a learning opportunity for me. :) If I have my leg on correctly and then soften through the reins, he comes beautifully round. And he'll stay that way as long as I don't bobble around.
We even got some nice stretchy circles at the trot. And some really pleasant, prompt canter transitions! Hooray! Pony learns quickly, and he's much more willing to be a partner than Rev was. With Rev, it always seemed like a "yes! no! Yes! No! YES!! FINE." conversation, whereas with Apollo he's more like "Okay. Sure. Got it. Wait ... what? Huh?! Ohhhhh, okay."
After we rode inside for a while and got some nice work in, I took him outside to hang out and work while the Test of Choice night was going on. I wanted to see how he did with other horses and a controlled amount of chaos. He was unsure at first, which really just amounted to looking around and being a bit harder to get round. I could see what Other Rinsie had meant when she said he was tense in dressage at Galway when she took him. But he did eventually relax and work down. The trick with him seems to be getting him moving and asking him to work. We'll see how it progresses!
|Mid-makeover. I will take better pictures this weekend, but|
you can kind of see the mane and tail improvements.
Dramatic lighting again.