I went to the barn this evening thinking that Marley may be a little wound up. Even though he has gotten out to stretch his legs, he hasn't really done much in the last couple of days. He happily greeted me at the gate, but it looked like someone had switched my pretty little blonde horse with a mousey brown one. Marley was coated in dried mud, so I went to work on grooming him.
As soon as the weather is nice again, Marley is going to get a bath. Not just because he is muddy, but because his winter coat is falling out in handfuls. I think a good scrub will help get a lot of that hair off of him.
After getting most of the mud off of Marley I did a couple of short bow approximations. He is doing really well with it, and I'd like to spend a few more days of him consistently performing the behavior correctly before I pair a cue with it. Then we'll move on to his next silly trick, dancing!
I tacked Marley up and started him in the round pen before getting on. I was surprised that after a couple of days off he picked right up where we left off. I guess I shouldn't really be surprised anymore. I think he has demonstrated his ability to retain new training multiple times. After some light round pen work, I moved Marley into the large arena for a ride. I've been getting on from the ground and he jigged sideways a little bit when I put my foot in the stirrup, but I stayed there until he stopped. When I got on he stood calmly and immediately walked forward into soft, light contact. I did some circles, serpentines, rollbacks, backing, and transitions. I didn't spend a lot of time riding as I like to make the first ride after a day or two off on a young horse really positive and fun. Marley was great though, and I was excited to have Katherine there to see him. She took some video and will be putting it on a disk for me tomorrow, so stay tuned as I'll update with the photos and videos for our ride today after I get them.