January 10, 2011

Saturday Lesson

We had our first lesson of the year yesterday. Rose had finally settled down on Thursday, was quiet on the longeline and worked hard under saddle, so I was anticipating a well behaved mare when I got to the barn Saturday morning. I was a bit early and the previous lesson, Diva's mom, was a bit late, so I had a luxurious amount of time for getting ready. I hung out with Rose in the cross ties, cleaning up every little piece of dirt from her coat and even had time to fluff up her beautiful thick tail and forelock.

I decided to go into the arena 15 minutes early to longe her before our lesson, which resulted in both my Trainer and Diva's mom got an entertaining show. Well, wouldn't ya know it but some horses were turned out in the paddock that is near the far end of the arena. Rose decided that this required her to run amuck and be a fool. It was very entertaining and my Trainer asked if she had to ride that or if I was gonna be getting on her. Worry not, I had full intentions of getting on the wild thing...but not until I was done longeing the crazy out of her. Per usual as of late, she slipped in the hogs-fuel after a nice buck, kick-out, twisting movement and then settled down.

Our lesson was amazing! Now that we have steering, downward transitions, half-halts, and leg yields I finally feel like I have an actual horse to work with...and I can work on my position finally too. Also, my new saddle is so comfortable and fits me so well I just can't be happier. It is much easier to work on my position when the saddle I'm riding in works with me rather than against me. So here is a quick list of homework items from our lesson:

1. Work on Rose accepting contact consistently. Rose has a tendency to throw her nose in the air or to pull her head way behind the bit to avoid having to accept contact. So I need to be very consistent and insistent that she listen and do it, and I need to be a bit more forceful about it than I have been. I am being a bit too nice and giving into my pushy bold mare.

2. Work on my position at both the sitting trot and canter. I need to remember to really push my hips forward and into my saddle and bring my shoulders back behind my shoulders stretching through my abs.

3. I need to keep my lower leg relaxed and heels down. If she doesn't listen to my seat for the upward transition, I need to get after her with my whip...even when she's tired.

My sister happened to catch a little bit of our lesson on video. I'll post it later tonight once I have time to upload. I hope your Monday is off to a good start.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

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