Lesson 14

Yesterday was so hot and muggy!  After the fall-like weather for the previous few days, summer returned with a vengeance!  It was so humid, everything felt damp and sticky.  Yuck!  Including my horse!  She still had her blanket on, and when I took it off, she was just drenched with sweat.  I started feeling bad expecting her to take me for a ride.

After getting her tacked up, we went to the arena and I just hand walked her until everyone else from the group lesson arrived.  Blondie had dried off a little by then, but I knew that won't last for very long; she sweats.  A lot.

M didn't have us work the horses very hard.  Instead, we worked on precision exercises and balance exercises.  She had us take the reins in one hand and swing the other arm in circles at a sitting trot.  I couldn't do this at first, as Blondie started speeding up, which caused me to lose my balance.  By the end of the lesson, I was much better! 

We then had to steer the horse around three cones, again with the reins in one hand.  This was a disaster!  Blondie would bend to the left, but I could not get her to turn to the right without cheating and using the other hand.  This is another exercise we can work on over the winter.  There's no reason why we couldn't do this, other than we haven't practiced it enough. 

We cantered both ways, but not for very long.  I really concentrated on smoothly getting Blondie angled and cueing, because I didn't want her to have to keep cantering!  She picked it up both ways, very nicely, within 2 or 3 strides.  It's the best canter transition we've ever had!  She did break the first way, but I backed up a few steps and then asked her again.

I did get a little stern with her when she kept dropping her head and pulling on the bridle.  I smacked her smartly with the whip, and she would stop, at least for a little while.  I just hate when she does that.

After cantering, M had us go to the outdoor arena to walk the horses out.  It wasn't really much cooler than inside, but there was a tiny hint of a breeze.  Gio started acting like a tard after a while (I think the flies were bothering him), so we headed back to the barn.  M suggested that I sponge Blondie down, and if she wasn't hot, to just turn her out in her stall.

This was a good lesson.  I have plenty of things to work at improving, and I'm looking forward to just getting to work with Blondie more.  I feel that I am becoming more confident riding her, too, and I think that been the biggest stumbling block to our progress.

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