Get Out of the Way!

      Sammy                From Horses

During the Tuesday lesson, we did a lot of transition work.  From the walk to the trot, the trot to the walk, and even from the trot to the canter and back down to a trot.  We usually never run into a canter, but since Blondie doesn't have shoes on, M wanted to try some exercises she learned about from Zoe's jumping lesson. 

We worked on a circle, using one end of the arena, and that's all we worked on.  I didn't like going from a trot directly into a canter, but I did like trying to make Blondie hand gallop.  She wouldn't really have much to do with that, though, as she has mellowed out and become a little lazy.  She doesn't have a race horse mode, but it was fun trying to get her to have one.  She only had one silly moment, too, when she spooked at a pile of poop.  I'll admit that it was a huge pile of poop, but still.  Considering how much she defecates, you'd think that she would be way, way over being afraid of it! 

I got Nyk ready for the Wednesday lesson, and starting feeling a little apprehensive when I realized that the girl who has a habit of not paying attention to what is going on would be riding with the group.  Now, I understand that the only way to learn to ride with other horses in the ring to to actually do it, but I don't believe this girl is ready for that yet.  She does not listen to instructions and she doesn't think well when she's in traffic.  She's also disruptive because she can't focus on what she's doing, for what ever reason. My fears proved correct and our lesson was cut short because she let her horse get away from her.  M had to get on after the horse was almost allowed to run into a wall not once, but twice.  Almost taking out one of the other horses. Argh - not fun.

The lesson started off ok.  M put a ground pole in the middle of the arena, and we all walked our horses over it.  We worked on a circle again, as she wanted to get us to all understand how to better use our seats.  Nyk was a little apprehensive about going over the pole, but he did it without too much urging.  M told me to let him look down when we were going over it.  He was much more comfortable about going over it then.  In addition working on transitions, we were also supposed to be working on rating our horses speed, so that nobody was walking up the rear end of another horse.  That wasn’t bad at the walk, but once we moved to a trot, the one rider had a difficult time checking her speed.  I tried to steer as clear of her as possible. 

When we moved to the canter portion, M had use canter individually and, staying off the rail, go over the pole.  Nyk kept dropping to a trot, but I finally got him to keep going.  Then I moved to the far end and stopped when I saw that the girl was not staying off of the rail.  Nyk is kind of small and I didn't want to get trampled.  I soon had company when two of the other lesson participants joined me.  Then we watched as the rider completely lost control of her horse and almost smashed both of them into the wall, going full tilt. 

Now, I don't claim to be a good rider.  I am still learning, and it wasn't so long ago that I had a terrible time with Blondie.  I could barely ride her, as a matter of fact.  I feel that through hard work and dedication, I have become a better rider.  Not the best, not the worst.  One thing that I always did, though, was do whatever my instructor told me to do.  That has gotten me, and continues to, get me out of trouble.  It irritates me when, during a group lesson, someone doesn't listen to what they are told.  I understand that everyone has a bad day, and horses do, too.  That's not the problem - it's when someone won't listen and follow instructions that I get annoyed, because it's cutting into my learning time.  If you can't listen to instructions, take a private lesson.  Don't ride with a bunch of people and make a hazardous environment for everyone else and their horses.

I discovered that Mina the barn cat is having a medical issue with her eye.  I hope that she is alright - she's so friendly and doesn't hesitate to make sure you know that she's there.  She is the most vocal cat I have ever met.

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