I've thought for a while that our "arena" needed some improvements, especially after spending time working in the arena at my trainers farm. When Val gets stronger in his hind end we'll be able to work on tighter school figures, but it's not comfortable to him physically right now, it's distracting to me and harder for me to help him stay straight.
The left picture shows how I'm extending the boundaries and rounding out the tight corners. The one on the right shows what it will look like when I'm done. I spent Saturday clearing brush in preparation of moving the posts. Two more days work and we should be good to go.
Regarding work under the saddle - Val and I had a really nice ride this morning. I could tell that our lessons from last weekend had sunk in. When I asked for the trot however, I noticed Val's head was bobbing and he appeared to be pulling off of one of his front legs. I dismounted, checked him from the ground and couldn't find anything wrong. When I asked him for the trot again I got resistance and some bucks. He seemed to be hurting as opposed to refusing to answer my aides. After some head scratching, anxiety, and process of elimination, I've determined it was a saddle placement issue. If it's too far forward, it pinches and restricts him. Lesson learned. :)