I had a mediocre ride on Sunday and I realized that because Mac is small horse when my leg hangs down on the Western saddle my heels (and small spurs) do not touch his belly. In order to get my spur on him I have to hike my heel up and move my leg around too much. So I decided to put my swan neck spurs on which are a bit longer and they point upward - they are made for a situation such as this. Having a spur on allows me to use different signals for different things. Both legs on (but without spur) means go forward. Spur (used on one side or the other, independently) means move over or yield to the pressure.
On Monday I lunged him in side reins and it was a bit windy so he was a bit animated (although for him that's really not a lot, he kind of tosses his head around a bit). I decided in the warm-up (before I put the side reins on) to ask him to canter on the lunge line. I haven't asked this of him for a long time and last time I did he was totally unbalanced and couldn't hold the gait or the lead going to the right. This time he did both, so that's progress! Because of the weather, it took him a bit to settle into the side reins and he never really got into it but again I'll take the progress where I can get it.
Today Colin had a lesson with Paddy and he brought Mac along and I met him there after work. I thought it would be a good adventure for Mac to get out to a new place and see different things. Well he was totally unimpressed and acted as if he had been there a million times. He did have a look-see when the neighbor's goats were bleating and running around but mostly he just stared at them. We worked on yielding to each rein, yielding to each leg, moving over and staying on the rail, and trotting straight. He did really well, actually! We trotted through some poles a few times and that was cute because he decided the he wanted to have a look at the last one as we were going through. Colin had a great lesson on Paddy and Mac did a good job of working and resting and working and resting and just standing around while Colin jumped.
Hopefully someday in the future I'll get to have a jumping lesson, too!!!