When I woke up this morning, I was not feeling well at all. I took Buu out and was greeted by a layer of ice coating everything, and briefly thought of canceling, but a shower helped to refresh me. I took all of my medications, bundled up, and headed for the barn.
I learned that I would be riding three horses; Harley, Blondie, and a surprise. I learned during the Harley phase that D wanted me to ride Dee Dee. Argh! That kind of freaked me out. She was a wild woman at the Dayton Horse Show, and everyone keeps commenting that she has such a big trot and she's hard to ride. Great. And here I was not feeling my best.
With Harley, M told me to concentrate on turning my feet way in, keeping my heels down, and my keeping my leg away from the horse. She raised the stirrups up another hole, and is contemplating taking them up one more. We worked on leg yields, and turning his head, but making him move forward in a straight line.
Kim and her mom came while I was putting Harley away, and she asked if I would ride Sammy so she would see how he's moving. I said sure, and before I knew it, a quick spin on him turned into an equitation lesson with Kim as the sensei. She's a tough little taskmaster, too! Turn your toes in! Keep your back straight! Sit back in the saddle! Tuck your butt in! The commands were continually barked at me. The cantering portion was really funny, because I couldn't do everything at once. I thought I was turning my toes in, but she said I was pulling my leg up instead. That is one of my biggest problems at the canter. I can't keep my leg down and away from the horse's side.
I was quite exhausted by the time I was allowed to get off of Sammy. He is a really nice horse, and I like to ride him. He's what got me interested in saddlebreds to begin with.
Then M and D brought Blondie out, and they both observed the session on her. They kept it short, and M told me to not let her do anything that I didn't want her to do. I am in control! The first time around the far end, she ducked out because the sunlight coming in from under the door freaked her out. I forced her past it every other time, (M helped by filling in most of the hole) and kept her riding the corners, most of the time. We didn't canter, just worked on trotting and sitting back more in the saddle.
Then it was time for Dee Dee. M suggested to D that he use a lunge line first, as I was a little apprehensive about riding her. He assured me that she's slow and mostly broke. Ok, whatever. I got on her, and tried putting all of the stuff we have been working on together to keep her walking. We moved to a sitting trot, and she does have a big trot. I was bouncing more than I was sitting. We moved to a posting trot, circled D a few times, and he declared I was ready to be detached from the safety line. Fear!
Going the first way around, Dee Dee isn't bad. She is slower than Blondie, but she holds her corners better and isn't spooky. When we switched to the other direction, however, her trot is up and down and side to side all at the same time. It took a bit to get used to, and of course I started sitting forward and was feeling that my seat wasn't as secure, but I was starting to figure her out when the lesson was over. I wish I had been feeling better, as I would have been more up to the challenge. I'm glad we didn't try to canter, because I was really tired by then, and just wanted to go home and go back to bed.
There's an academy show next weekend, and I know I won't be riding Blondie. When I asked M who I would be riding, she said she hadn't made up her mind yet. I'd like to ride Gio, but I don't know if he's going. Guess I'll find out Saturday morning...