Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finally! A lesson!

I hadn't been out to the barn since Sunday and I was a little nervous about how things were going to go.      Luckily, the pony had been ridden the night before by S, so she hadn't just been sitting around for three days.

First we lunged.  And ran into a bit of a snag going to the right.  Princess decided that turning in and half rearing was more fun.  Especially since she figured out that totally threw me off and I would stop, get re-organized, trip over the lunge line, cuss a bit and then try again.  So she knew every time she turned in and spazzed out, it would give her a small break.  L put a stop to that.  She took over, pony spun, half reared and even did an all four feet off the ground leap.  L tapped her with the whip, stayed calm and focused and pony learned forward.  Then she had me come back in.  She was good as gold, but we worked on forward, forward, forward.

Then it was on to the riding lesson where we worked on....riding.  Yes, folks, we worked on riding.  We didn't talk about fear.  We didn't talk about spooking.  My heart wasn't in my throat.  We rode on the inside of a 20 meter circle and worked on pushing her out to the wall. 

Don't use your heel, just push with your leg.  Good.  When her head starts to come up and she loses forward tap her with the whip.  Good. Push with the inside leg into the outside rein.  Good.  Now the same thing doing a change of direction.  Good!  Now here you lose her shoulder.  Don't cross your rein there, keep it showing you where you want the circle to go.  Quiet hands.  Great.  Now walk.  Okay, now we're going to canter.

Okay, heart rate went up a bit.  L reminded me to sit back and to only worry about one thing, getting the canter and keeping it.  Transitions might be rough, but that will come.  Right now the focus is get into canter and go forward.  

Breathe.  Okay, forward trot.  Now stop thinking about it and just canter.  Yes.  Forward.  Tap if you need to.  Sit back.  Hands down, don't worry about her head, just get her forward.  Now ask for trot before she breaks.  Good!  Now let's go the other way.  

At this point, I got distracted and felt like I was falling apart.  L reassured me that the problem was most likely that my brain started over thinking it and to get afraid and the best thing for me to do is to just go right back into canter before I could make a big deal out of it.  So off we cantered to the right.  Yes!  Then back to the left.  Then to the right!!  Canter! Canter! Canter!

We must be pretty for our lesson!
The very best part of today's lesson was that it was a riding lesson.  Not a life lesson.  Not a lesson in 'is this the right horse for me'.  A riding lesson.  And now I'm going to go soak in the bath because it's been a while since I've actually had to work on riding.  Haha!


  1. Good stuff! Sounds great!

  2. What a great lesson-and she sounds like an awesome instructor. There's nothing like working at all 3 gaits in both directions (you know, like you feel everyone can do and is doing except you? Maybe that was just me:) for your confidence. Great job!