Lesson 7.12

I am sick again, and haven't had the energy to blog.  Especially after a freezing riding lesson.  Here's the scoop on Wednesday's class.

It was cold enough that M dragged the turbo heater out of storage and had it blasting away when I arrived at the barn.  It didn't seem all that cold as I was getting the horse ready, but in the arena, away from the warmth of the heater, it was damn cold!  And of course the heater ran out of fuel by the time we were finished, so getting the horses ready for bed was an unpleasant experience.

I had the choice of riding Pepper or Wild Child since I got there before Laurie.  I picked Wild Child, because Pepper sweats like a pig.  I was not looking forward to cantering on Wild Child, but the thought of having to wait until Pepper dried off was even less pleasant.

For the trotting portion of the lesson, I was able to keep Wild Child to a nice, controlled pace.  She even relaxed enough to set her head a little.  Then came to cantering.  Argh!  Twice going the other way of the ring she picked up the wrong lead.  By that time, she was a fidgety wreak, so M had me walk her in the middle of the arena while everyone else cantered.

When we tried again, we went the first way, and she picked up the right lead.  Wild Child doesn't canter well yet, and she doesn't know how to go slow.  M kept telling me to think of her as a green horse, and remember that she needed guidance.  By the time we finished, Wild Child was a steaming, sweating mess.  She was worse than Pepper.

To finish out the lesson, we ran through Audie's academy pattern, which consisted of trotting into the ring, trotting a circle half way, and continuing around the rail.  Then halting at the half way point on the opposite rail from the circle, back 5 steps, pick up a trot on the correct diagonal, and exit the ring.  It was hard for me to concentrate on M as she ran through the pattern, because I was engulfed in a curtain of steam from Wild Child. 

M told me to think about the halting part while I was trotting the circle.  She didn't want to get Wild Child all frazzled again, as she doesn't usually use her for patterns, and warned me not to suddenly stop her.  Since she doesn't know how to back, either, M helped she move back when I pulled back on reins.  Then we trotted out, and I did not pick up the correct diagonal!

There's an academy show tomorrow, and it's supposed to be about 30 degrees in the morning.  It's at the MSU pavilion, in the little barn behind the pavilion.  It is going to be so cold, and once again, I feel like crap.  It's hard to concentrate on what your horse is doing when there's a gallon of snot dripping out of your nose.  There's supposed to be a polo game in the pavilion, so I'll run across the parking lot to watch it.  The pavilion is heated.  Good thing admission is free.