It was bitterly cold again last night. I was so happy to hear the turbo heater when we got to the barn! Armed with six hand warmers and too many layers of clothing to count, I was ready for the elements. I still felt a pang of panic when the heater belched a plume of smoke and shut off. It had run out of fuel.
Jen rode Harley again, and I rode Blondie. M was not feeling well, and she looked it, so she left us in A's care. We had a fun lesson, working on leg strengthening and balance, though A was disappointed when D told us no racking. Blondie still did it anyway 🙂
Right off the bat, Blondie started ducking out of the corner. I caught her early and forced her back over. With A and M's coaching, it only took a few times before Blondie was focused on me and not the scary door. Then M left, and A really got down to business.
One of the exercises that we tried was cantering one rail, stopping, turn, canter the next rail, stop. We were supposed to canter a box, stopping at each corner. Blondie cantered beautifully the second way, but insisted on racking the first way. I admit, the first time I didn't rush to stop her, but after that I started getting a little more forceful with her. When she wouldn't stop, I turned her head into the wall like I had to with Ritz. Blondie learned faster and I only had to do it once. We practiced just standing still, and after a smart crack on the shoulder when she kept fidgeting, she stood as still as she knows how. Her feet didn't more, but her head still did.
Jen was having trouble keeping Harley moving. I remember having the same difficulty. Being able to hold the reins and a whip really helped with that. We did a lot of trotting in the two point, and changing diagonals every four strides, which A made fun of Jen because she was counting every stride. I do, too, but I don't do it aloud. To try to work on not balancing on Blondie's mouth, I started doing standing changes, which is a lot harder for me. I can change the diagonal, but I usually pull back on the reins. I am getting better, but I was still doing it.
A didn't want to get the horses too warm because of the cold temperature, so we walked a lot, too. Blondie is getting better at a flat walk, but when she gets keyed up she starts to jig. Harley has no trouble walking, and he actually was able to spend a lot of the lesson doing it. Jen, maybe you need to wear spurs!