Long time, no post. My usual pattern.
In quick updates:
Tris is gaining in strength and finesse almost weekly. T. is really, really pleased with him overall, which is great to hear. I was peaking nicely in my riding, but have slipped a bit - relying a bit too much on my dressage saddle to do the work, and less on my seat. Namely, I'm getting caught up in bracing a bit too much in the knee rolls. Need to keep my leg further back.
We're working on a couple of things: introducing a half-halt from the seat in the canter is my favorite. Last night I cued for what I thought was a down transition...and he collected instead. Okay, then! It wasn't perfect, by any means, but it was a lighter, shorter-strided canter with more suspension. And I had no idea how to stop it, because I didn't want to ruin it, but I really had planned for a trot there instead.
Our next big project is transitions. He's a difficult horse to keep consistent in the bridle in the first place - he's always, always looking for his out - and triply so during transitions. He seizes on them as moments of opportunity, roots out and down, hollows, and generally comes completely disconnected in the 2-3 strides of transition, no matter how nice the gait before and after. I felt like my efforts to keep him with me were too fussy, too handsy, but T. and I talked through it last night and for now, too much may be what Tris needs to get it out of his head that he can do that. I should be careful of not relying on that, but for now, not giving him a moment's peace through the transition might keep his mind away from being bratty.
I'm itching to get out and school in the field again, but will settle for the outdoor. We were there on Saturday a bit, and Tris pretended the (slightly deep, slightly mucky) sand was actually secretly quicksand. Why that meant he could either slog along at a dead walk OR gallop is beyond me. I talked him into a little bit of stretchy trot against his better judgment. We'll work on that more Thursday night. He got spoiled by nice, springy footing in the indoor.
I'm continually rethinking any showing this summer. Too many variables to count - time, money, energy, his training, my confidence, my internship, on and on. I sincerely hope to get out to two, maybe three schooling events and all the cross-country schooling and trail-riding I can handle, but...I just don't know yet.