My lesson on Licorice started off with another lesson finishing up. I stayed on the rail, while a man named Jim rode his fresh off the track Thoroughbred over fences. She was a handful and quite the jumper. She would gallop up next to Licorice and I, who were trotting at a snails pace along the rail. She'd snort and huff and sail past us. Licorice ambled on. Later when I was grooming Licorice, the mare was in a stall waiting to go back out. She showed her VERY off the track Thoroughbred side by weaving side to side and back and forth and slinging her head up and down and up and down. She made me anxious just looking at her. Luckily, her owner came back after putting his tack away and took her out to her pasture.
So, after Jim was done riding his horse, my lesson on Licorice began. You know what my favorite thing about the lesson was? NONE of it involved fixing Licorice and ALL of it focused on me. Ha! This makes me sound so narcissistic. But really, it was lovely to be able to focus on pulling my shoulder back on the right side. And feeling, viola! Licorice straightened his head out. We worked on finding my seat in the canter, which is something I have struggled with. Licorice simply cantered and cantered and cantered. At first I was heavy and stiff. Licorice cantered, strung out, but still cantering. I worked on breathing and counting. Licorice cantered. A bit lighter. I pulled my right shoulder back and let my hands move with him. Breathing and counting. Licorice got lighter and more together every time I pulled it together. It was brilliant.
And of course, every time I wanted to stop, Licorice was more than happy to obey.
At the end of my lesson, we were left alone to trot some poles and mess around. During my lesson, outside the arena, a colt was gelded. When his sedation began to wear off and he was able to stand, they tried to move him to a stall. Somehow he laid down (or rather began to fall down) on a pipe corral. There was much yelling and running and the two horses next to the arena began to run frantically around their pens. I could feel my whole body tense up. Licorice looked over there, clearly interested. I put him to work, asking him to yield off my leg, my heart thumping. Licorice went right to work and didn't look over there again until we trotted past a while later. Then it was with mild interest.
After my lesson, Licorice and I were hot and sweaty. Licorice is growing in his winter coat and it was quite warm out, so I asked if I could hose him off. They don't have a formal wash stall, but he ties, so she had me tie him to a post and just hose him off outside. He moved around a little bit, but was mostly good. When we went to eat some grass, he was atrocious about pulling me along, but once I was clear about him not dragging me along to eat grass he was pretty good about it.
It's been interesting because I don't feel the 'rush' that I got when I found Tessa. On the other hand, this time, I'm trying really hard to shop with my head first and my heart second. I think I'm being really guarded about Licorice because he's at his home barn still. And my trainers haven't tried him out yet. And he hasn't passed a vet check yet. I think I will know how I really feel, when I saddle him up in my own barn and ride him down the driveway.
Already, I have noticed that I have the horse bug back. It's taken everything in me not to bug the living daylights out of the trainer he's with now to see if I can ride him every day. I wanted to go see him this weekend so badly! But I know he's used for lessons and I don't want to wear out my welcome. :) Keeping my fingers crossed that my trainers check him out this week!