Saturday and Sunday and Monday something new popped up with Zelador.

Zelador’s canter is getting so calm and soft and collected. He receives tons of praise and is very proud of this accomplishment. He’s probably thinking, “I could have done this sooner if Winnie would have been clearer in her request!”

On Saturday I cantered to the right. Lovely. Told him he was “perfect”. Walked a little, picked up the reins, went into the trot BUT did not ask for the canter because I was looking for a soft, quiet trot. That’s when he had a hissy fit. He did four of five things sort of on the spot, then calmed down and listened to me. He has NEVER done this!!!! When all was well, I asked for the left lead canter and it was brilliant.

I pondered over this explosion, then went on with my life.

Sunday was an exact repeat of Saturday.

Monday Sue came to work with us. Sally joined us. Last week we three (four, counting Zelador) had assembled for my riding and the “standing on Zelador” practice. I told Sue and Sally about the mini-explosions and added, “If he’d kept on exploding it would have been dangerous to be on his back.”

So, Sue was on the alert.

I rode our walk work, then trot, then announced I’d do the left lead first. All was copacetic. I trotted a few steps, then into the right lead canter. No explosion. Zelador received TONS of praise for his lovely canters.

I did some work in-hand and a split second after I was done and let go of the reins he did his explosion a few feet from me. This explosion was BIGGER, much, much bigger and more athletic than he’d been under saddle Saturday and Sunday. It was impressive. Because I was at the wall and Zelador was between me and Sue and Sally neither of them could see that I had let him loose. I explained that I wasn’t going to chastise him for exploding because he did it on his own time, not mine.

Then Ann Clifford arrived at the arena door and we all figured her approach had something to do with Zelador’s antics. Later I figured he’d been paying attention to our conversation which started in the barn, continued up the driveway and into the arena. Zelador was very keen to get to the vaulting, after all, his group of three for vaulting was assembled! Zelador had waited patiently through the riding, endured another delay with work in-hand and now the lady he associated with the camera was here. Time to GET GOING!