Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lesson recap

Despite nice cool weather for a week and yesterday morning, the evening quadrupled the humidity amount and made riding difficult but we did prevail and last night I took my first lesson in months.  The instructor is a gal that came recommended from people at the tack store that closed earlier in the year.  I had heard her name numerous times and finally saw her ride when I volunteered at the Horse Trial.  I liked the way she rode and she placed well in a division several divisions above where I ride so I made my appointment.

She said she remembered seeing me school my boys once when during one of the cross country schooling days and that my boys looked willing enough.  We talked a little about Sinatra and his history and his quirks, what I have issues with and what his abilities are.  She was happy to hear that he did a normal w/t/c and that I intend on competing in Sept at the eventing derby.  She talked about couple of gaited horses she has trained for the local hunt club, I hear they are popular among the hunt people and they send the horses to her to train to jump.  It is nice to know she is flexible in her training abilities!! 

I rode the TWH and we warmed up, showing what we can do.  She liked his w/t transition though his t/w transition is a little abrupt.  She really liked his hind end and said he has a huge engine but he wasn't using it, he is on the forehand and she wanted to see him push from behind more.  She liked his t/c transition and was intrigued with his c/t transition.  Sinatra was very pacey last night had wouldn't pick up the trot right away after dropping from the canter.  She had me try different bending exercises to try to help him to not pace when dropping out of the canter.  Unfortunately they were all a failure but it was fun to watch her think of ideas.  She did recommend trying to canter up to some trot poles to try to sharpen the transition down, I may try that.

She asked to ride him and she seemed to like him.  She was really pushing him forward to try to get him driving from behind, it was pretty hard even for her but we did have moments of success.  She suggested lots of bending exercises with changes of direction and to push forward, forward, forward.  She was surprised with his canter, saying "Wow, now this is different" but she said he was on the forehand there too.  I actually thought he was collected in his canter so was a bit disappointed there.  Overall she liked him and sees potential.

What do I need to work on?  Biggest one is my hands.  I know my bad habits and she saw them quickly, I need to ride with my hands closer together, I need to stop widening my hands, I need to ride with shorter reins.  Hopefully I can work on it again and be more successful this time.  While the lesson didn't cover as much as I expected, I did like the lesson.  I was happy she thought I was a "good little rider" which means I do have a pretty solid foundation to build on.  I will try to ride this weekend, I have homework!

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