After yesterdays icky ride, I wasn't looking forward to this lesson. I didn't want to ride a bucking, snotty pony. I didn't want to push through my fear. It must have shown on my face while I was complaining what a pill the pony was, because Laura disappeared and Linda showed up in her place. After adjusting the saddle (still testing out the fancy saddle) to sit farther back (we had to do this multiple times so the saddle isn't fitting quite right. Saddle fitter will be back out on Sunday to see what's up) Linda took Tessa's reins from me.
"We're going to start on the ground before you even get on."
She put gentle pressure on the rein, waiting for Tessa's head to drop. Then she quietly asked her to move over by pressing the whip behind the girth. Not only did Tessa not move, but she flung her head up, swished her tail and lifted a hind leg. Oh, Pony, that was not your best idea. Linda promptly tapped her smartly with the whip. Pony went into Arab meltdown and for the next thirty seconds tried spinning madly with her head in the air and at the last minute even threw in a rear. Linda stayed quiet and waited for the tantrum to subside. Then she asked quietly again for the pony to move over. Tessa moved over, but again with her head high and her eyes rolling back in her head. Linda just stayed with her. Then she rubbed her all over with the whip. And asked again. This time Tessa spun quickly, but her head stayed level. Another rest and then Linda asked again. Tessa lowered her head and quietly moved over. There was much praise and petting. Repeat on the other side, minus the tantrum.
I took hold of the rein and was rewarded with a soft feel from the pony. She moved quietly and quickly off the whip each time. So then it was time to get on.
"Right away, take the same feel of her face. Turn her nose slightly towards your boot and ask lightly with her leg for her to move her hindquarters away. "
Not surprisingly, the pony didn't move.
"Okay, now just tap, tap, tap the way you did on the ground. If you need to you can pull her nose towards your boot more."
I tap, tap, tapped and sure enough the pony started to circle. Repeat on the other side. Praise and petting ensued.
We then proceeded to work on having her move her hindquarters off my leg while capturing her shoulders with my outside rein. From there, it was on to trot work. I'll tell y'all about the trot work tomorrow since this is long enough as it is.
Also, though I have no photographic evidence, I shouldn't be allowed to clip horses. Ever. I was just trying to clean her up and I left a giant clipper mark in her face and a totally uneven line around one front hoof. I couldn't even finish clipping the back feet because she was being funny, so they are half clipped and totally green.