Most of our issues revolve around Charlie not wanting relax in his left jaw and step under with his inside hind (this holds true for both directions - left jaw is always pretty hard). I finally got frustrated enough and trucked up to Amy's for a refresher. I didn't feel fitness-wise we were ready to a true lesson but I needed help! Amy basically said I'm on the right track and I have to stick to my guns when he protests. Same thing she usually tells me, I just hate fighting with him. :/
Basically, when going to the right, he either falls in (haunches and shoulders) or tries to bulge out through his shoulder. Going to the left, he's still hard on the left jaw and convinces me to 'let go' with the right rein while I try to soften his jaw with the left. And when I try to correct him, he has an issue with with it. I think a large part of it is he's just not as strong as he was this spring. I suppose that's what happens when you spend approximately 4 weeks doing nothing but walking. Sigh. I hate the summer.
Today I got up super early to go XC schooling at FENCE. Charlie was a star - I kind of expect him to be a star over the fences but I was pleasantly surprised at how well-behaved he was while tacking up and in the warm-up. He was really good! No theatrics and I could actually get on him without feeling like there was a 50-50 chance he was going to put me on the ground on my way up. He was a little looky but I suppose that's to be expected seeing as this is only the second time he's been out and about since the beginning of June. He cantered through the water with no issues and dropped off the bank into the water like he does it everyday. Amy was very complimentary of how well he dropped off - he was super quiet, no launching, and just cantered off like it was no big deal. Same with the ditch - no big deal. He's such a good pony. I need to work on being softer after the jumps so I don't discourage him from galloping away. Since he isn't always so great about galloping up into the bridle, I need to make sure I'm not discouraging him when he does the right thing.
I feel kind of badly for going today because I think it was too hot. I don't know how people actually go to a show in this kind of weather. It's just miserable and we were done by 1030. Charlie was back in his field by 1 but I think it was too much to ask of him. He was so good too! Poor thing!
Early morning - view from Charlie's field this AM before we left.
Chubby ponies in there field. Surprisingly, it's not raining.