My Monday lesson was canceled, and I had promised to go on our annual Christmas foray to the mall with a co-worker on Wednesday, so I wasn’t able to ride until Thursday. I traveled out to the Other Barn, and had the most amazing lesson that I can remember.
First, we started out on the longe line, first trotting, and then cantering, with no stirrups and no reins. I was a little nervous about this, but Caveat moves very smoothly, so I was able to relax and really concentrate on body position and staying balanced on the horse’s back. We worked the first way of the ring, and then S turned us loose and sent us out on the rail.
She then had me work on standing changes every 3 strides, then every two, had me drop my stirrups and canter and then posting trot. Then she had me come into the middle of the ring, tied the reins in a knot, took the whip away, and had me drop my stirrups. With the words, “Trust me, trust your horse,” she then me canter and trot with no reins and no stirrups, and NO longe line! I don’t know how she trains her horses to be steady and trot and canter around the arena without much intervention from the rider. Caveat must not suffer from the ADD that afflicts most of the other lesson horses that I have ridden.
I was very proud of myself for being able to do most of what was requested of me, which included standing changes without reins. I cued the canter and transitioned to a sitting trot and pointed my right leg as far in front as possible and then as far back as possible, posting the entire time. I was so tired when the lesson ended, but I felt that I had accomplished quite a bit.
Yesterday we were whacked by a blizzard, and had over 10 inches if snow dumped on the ground. Getting down the road to the barn was a bit of a challenge, and I was so happy that I have 4-wheel drive, because I would have gotten stuck without it. M helped me get Nyk ready, and then we worked on trotting and cantering and general self-confidence issues. I did make a break through at the canter, and was able to keep him from getting strong and taking off on the right lead. I just have to remember to keep his head up, to keep him going uphill, and to keep him paying attention to what he is supposed to be doing.
Today I had another longe line lesson on Jimmy, and my legs are so sore! I was doing great until the drop your reins and canter part. I just don’t feel comfortable on him at the canter, and I had to hang onto the saddle when I was supposed to have no reins. I don’t know why I can do this at S’s on both Lucky and Caveat, but I can’t do it with Jimmy. So I came home feeling like I had taken a step back instead of a step forward. It’s very frustrating.