During the group lesson, I rode Blondie. I went out to get her, and Chester the Chestnut tried to head us off, but we were too speedy for him. It helped that he was on the other end of the 5 acres. Then they screamed for each other all the way to the barn. After only four days! And they were the ones kicking the crap out of each other when she was first turned out in the pasture.
She was an utter turd the entire time I was getting her ready, and since she hadn't been ridden in a while, I decided to use the trusty western saddle. M said that we were going to practice moving the horse with our legs, and it didn't matter which saddle I used. I discovered that I ride too much off of my hands, and hardly off of my legs at all. After trying some exercises, Blondie started moving away from my legs, and I didn't have to apply much pressure to the bit. At this stage of the game, we need to do more stuff like this. I can already ride around in circles - I need to learn how to fine tune everything now, and move my legs and hands independently. It's tough.
Thursday night was the race out to the Other Barn #2. I had penned myself in the schedule at 7 instead of 7:30, and I was a little worried about the traffic. It takes about an hour to get there, but I made it with about 20 minutes to spare. One of the mothers introduced herself while we were waiting, and it turned out that her daughter was going to be riding with me. She's a teenager and a very good rider. She rode one of the show horses, which was about 3 notches above Blondie. I was a little jealous.
I rode trusty Lucky again, and since he broke his mule bit in the lesson prior, we used a show bridle. I have to say that I didn't realize how extreme a show bridle is. As I am becoming more aware of my riding position and my hands, I am starting to figure more things out. I was having a tough time getting the correct contact with the bit, and poor Lucky was not happy with me at first. As I concentrated more and more on not manhandling him, he relaxed, and so did I. S called a show bridle power steering to the extreme. At first she wasn't going to have me use it, but she decided she wanted to see if I could figure it out. It was a very useful lesson.