It was such a beautiful day today, that I rode pretty much every horse in the outdoor arena. They were all very good, although a little "up", since it was their first time outdoors since last fall. The weather was absolutely fantastic, sunny, mid 50s to low 60s, light breeze!
Monkey is always a little more up and active outside, so it is useful to ride him outside. At Thermal, he was fantastic out in the outdoor jumping arenas, but more backed off in the CDI arena. I also ride him on the cross country course in the summer, as it really helps his way of going. Majek thought about exploding, as usual, but I rode some haunches-in on the circle, and really made him sit and bend his hind legs, and he decided that leaping in the air was too much work. It was interesting how much it relaxed his back. You wouldn't think making the work harder would relax the horse so much, but it worked in this case. Then he was really super.
Our local show season is fast approaching, so my students are all starting to think in that direction. I've started making them all ride tests, or elements of the tests, or make them ride outside, to get everyone prepared. There's a small schooling dressage show at our barn in late April, which will help them all get prepared for the first big recognized dressage show in our area, the Idaho Festival Dressage show in mid-May. Then there are the idiots that pick big, busy shows with Olympic riders and six-figure horses in Southern CA as our first show of the season. :)