So...Polly had not been ridden since I tried her in like...December.
And she was totally fine this weekend. :)
Now, her owner was not kidding when she said that Polly is an absolute PILL to catch, but now that I'll be getting her back into work, she's being moved to a smaller paddock. Hopefully a combination of that, treats, and being in regular work will help.
Under saddle she was perfectly quiet and easy, if a little stiff to the right and a little "wobbly" in that she wanted to drift one way, then the other, one way, and then the other, so I had to keep "catching" her with my leg to keep her straight. I think more balance will come as she gets fit though.
I didn't even try cantering in the arena since I know that is hard for her to balance (it's a small arena). We cantered a little outside and the brakes still work, which is nice!
I was all ready to head to the arena when I tacked up, but one of the boarders intercepted me and took me on a long hack around the farm (her cool-down, our warm-up). I saw a lot to like--even more than I realized when I tried Polly! There are two outdoor arenas, one with dressage letters and one with stadium jumps, plus an indoor and an XC field with a nice stretch alongside it for galloping. That will be fun when she's in shape and the ground is less mushy!
There was a little bit of excitement when some horses in an adjacent field started galloping. I got a little nervous about what Polly would do, but she just jigged and tossed her head...if that's the worst she's got in her when she's freaked out, I don't think we'll have any problem!
We also tested how Polly does with water crossings. No big deal.
After our hack I went back to the outdoor arena and did a bunch of walk-trot-walk transitions. Attempted canter both ways, and got it, but it's still pretty messy. I think it will be better to have just a few correct steps of canter at a time until she can really get herself balanced in the arena.
Who knows if I'll be able to ride this week with the snow. Planning on getting a rope halter to put under her bridle for lunging...my general plan is to do short lunge sessions, or stuff from 101 Dressage Exercises on weeknights since time is limited. Then on weekends we can jump, have lessons or hack out...maybe even go roading if I can tag along with other boarders!