Tonight I tried to focus on relaxation and getting Max to accept the bit without getting tense and throwing his head up. Gave him lots of forward and kept my hands soft, but firm on the outside reign.
He was so good and pretty much did everything I asked, so long as I asked correctly and nicely. To cap our ride, we practiced the new 2015 dressage test pattern. He did very well up till the canter depart to the right. Instead of departing nicely, he rushed into it, then tensed up. So we rode a few circles, getting him back down to a relaxed state. Preparing to ask again, I made sure there was firm contact on the outside, and asked loud and clear. What a lovely depart we had! Such a good boy!
No pictures, but I tried introducing him to his new jolly mega ball. Exactly what I expected - zero reaction. I bounced it around his legs, and bounced it off him and he didn't even blink. Sigh. There go our soccer games!
He was however, snuggling up to his jolly ball stall snack ball (there's a tongue-twister for ya), so hopefully he knows it's there to provide him some entertainment.
Lots of cuddles and hugs later, and a happy Max was tucked in all warm and cozy in his stall. Then a nice relaxing drive home in the dark, listening to cool tunes on the radio. Life is good!