Lesson 8.10

Hmmm, there must be a horse show around the corner because I'm getting sick.  Again!  The change in temperature is really playing havoc with my sinuses, and I've had a sore throat for the past two days.  My annoying, hacking cough has also returned with a vengeance.

After digging my cold weather gear back out of the closet, I tucked some hand warmers in every pocket and headed out into the cold.  Winter has returned!  Boo!!  Filling my gas tank today was especially unpleasant with the biting wind beating unrelentingly on my frail self.  I hate winter!!!!

I arrived at the barn in time to watch the end of Brooke's lesson.  She is off the lead line and riding Harley around like a pro!  When Harley's not weaving into the middle of the ring.

This group lesson was rather small.  It was only Maggie, Tina, and me.  The bigger lessons are a lot more fun.  I got Wildchild ready, and it was off to the arena.  Compared the Harley and Blondie, Wildchild is a tiny little horse.  She's a lot thinner, and it feels really weird to ride her.  She's like a carousel horse.

After doing the usual trotting around, we worked on halting and turning the horse in the other direction.  Apparently, I have been doing this wrong the entire time I've been riding!  The horse is not supposed to bend its neck; it should be a turn on the haunches, with a straight neck.  Evidently I was not sitting deep enough in the saddle because Wildchild kept walking off.  Grr.

Next, we practiced Maggie's serpentine pattern.  This still totally confuses me.  I don't understand when to change my diagonal.  The first time we performed the pattern, I made the curves too skinny.  We tried it again and did better, but I was on the wrong diagonal coming back to the line up. 

Lastly, we cantered.  Wildchild was actually slow at first, which surprised me so much I let her fall out of it.  Then, frazzled, she was back to her usual race around in circles self.  Oh, well, it was nice the one circuit it lasted.

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