We'd spent Sunday afternoon doing groundwork. A refresher course of sorts. We don't do that as often as we should. The lesson I have to learn, over and over again mind you, is pay attention.
It can't be overemphasized. L has impeccable manners and she's a pleasure to handle. Mostly. On the ground or under saddle, she will not mess with me as long as (she thinks) I'm paying attention. If she so much as thinks about ripping my arm off to snatch a mouthful of grass and I don't notice? She's going to mess with me. She's a horse.
Same thing under saddle. If she thinks it, and my head's not in the moment, she'll try to take over. Horses are like that. They don't take breaks from the herd. If it's something alpha should notice, and doesn't? Well then? Game on, as they say. Some horses get spooky and flighty. L will just take over.
My trainer says she should be so far beyond even thinking such things. But that's just who L is and we have an understanding. Fortunately she's a good horse and at her worst she's pretty harmless. At her best she's a perfect jewel.
So the lesson is. Pay Attention. It's a subtle thing. She just needs to know I notice. Oh and of course, basics. Always be mindful of basics. Refresher courses are a good thing.