I had my dressage lesson last night and since Linda is out of town, Laura taught it. She has a different style than Linda, so it was a nice change. Linda focuses a lot on exercises and patterns, which then bring out the holes in your training. Laura's approach was centered more on getting them going correctly and less on where you were going. At one point, the pony broke into a canter and Laura just had me keep cantering while still working on getting her off my inside leg.
We had some of our most correct moments, with Tessa reaching into the bridle.
We also had a hilarious moment where I asked her to canter and she was so frustrated that she kicked her leg up and kicked my boot OUT of the stirrup. Did I mention my pony is flexible?
So, ready for the interesting phone call? I had a chance to speak with an animal communicator. He's pretty well known and an article was written about him in COTH. His name is Bill Northern. He was a riot. He made a point of telling me he calls it like it is so I was prepared for the worst. He didn't sugar coat anything, he gave me a few specifics to verify that it was MY horse he was talking to and then he told me what Tessa had to 'say'.
Are you guys ready for this? My horse said she was frustrated because I didn't come out every day and when I did come out I spent too much time socializing and not enough time with her. Yep, my horse wants more of my attention. She's totally right, of course. I do tend to socialize when I'm at the barn. It's my only chance to talk horses with people! He also said that my horse wants me to give her more of the credit when we look good. That she's very concerned about looking good. (I can feel some of you rolling your eyes here. But I would also like to point out I have the only grey horse I have EVER met who DOES NOT GET DIRTY and prefers a clean stall to a muddy field!)
He also did go on and on about how I was beautiful and my horse was beautiful and how my horse wanted herself to be the center of attention instead of me. I looked at the picture I sent him and I'm wearing a baseball hat, a t-shirt and sunglasses. Huh. I mean, not that I don't clean up well but 'beautiful' isn't a description I'd use for me in that picture. So, whatever. I guess to my horse I'm the popular girl in middle school and she's the 'second' popular and wants to be in. I'll just have to make sure we don't go all 'Heathers' on each other (sorry, awesomely bad cult movie reference there).
He said she wasn't unhappy where she was, but that she doesn't like dressage. She feels like it puts her in a box. He also said she doesn't like it because I'm not good at it either. Well played, pony. Well played. He said she'd rather jump (but nothing over 2-3 feet) and that she really wants to trail ride. He then described a trail that is right off our boarding barns property. Of course, that would be easy since probably most trails go 'down a dirt road off the property', but he did also know that there aren't any trails or fields at her barn.
He mentioned she also had a vertebrae out in her back. I am going to confirm this with my chiro/trainer if I can.
The main thing he said is that she wants me to bond more with her. That she's like a little kid who wants more attention and that when I come to the barn she wants me to hang out and talk to her instead of other people.
I only had a ten minute session because though I was interested, I'm also totally cheap when it comes to this. Also, since we weren't having some sort of major, unsolvable problems it was more curiosity.
Now to the action part - if all of this information is true, then I should be able to take a break from dressage, do jump lessons instead, and spend more time hanging with the pony and she should develop a better attitude. None of this is bad stuff and it's all worth trying.