Saturday was the clinic with the TWH, something I looked forward to greatly because 1. I have never gone to a clinic before and 2. It was very affordable! The dressage was a 45 minute lesson and was on time despite my writing the time down wrong. I was ready a good bit too early lol. No worries though, we were ready for dressage and the instructor was quite nice. Very chatty, I think she talked more about her personal students and how the TWH is very similar to a horse she is working with and the challenges she is facing with that horse, but she was nice. 90% of the ride was working on the trot within a 10m circle and then spiraling out to try to get the TWH to actually connect his hind leg to the front. It was hard and tiring however we did actually get a few steps of true collection each direction. She really liked his canter and said it was a better quality than the trot. She also agreed with H in that he would be a good training level horse and we could go have fun at first level dressage however we quite likely won't be competitive because he just doesn't have the connection due to what he is. It was a little disappointing hearing it, however it was good that two separate people agree that he will be maxing out in his dressage at no fault of his own.
Our cross country lesson was a bit more of a fiasco as the lesson was at 2p. I was getting ready and at 1:55 I saw a bunch of people warming up so I hurried up and got over there only to find it was the group that was supposed to be starting at 1:30. I hung by myself until around until 2:15p when I finally saw the barn owner. I asked if she knew where the 2p lesson group was, afraid I had missed it somehow. She went to look for them as I went back to the trailer. Apparently the previous group was also running late and the instructor was making her way over. The lesson finally started at 2:40p and I was with a group of 4 others.
Overall the lesson went well. The TWH rocked the course. I was a little frustrated again as the instructor gave little to no feedback and basically babysat while I jumped things. This seems to be a trend in my jumping lessons, something that frustrates me a little as I want feedback, that is why I am taking a lesson. I could jump stuff myself any day. I finally asked her how my position was, what could I improve on and she said we were doing great. My 2 point is good, I have a good release (which I worked really hard to do that day) and my lower leg is quiet and solid. I KNOW I am not perfect but I didn't get any better help so I guess I am perfect :)
The only issue we had was when we jumped the ditch, something I knew would be an issue. The TWH doesn't like ditches for some reason and will refuse or stop and jump from a standstill. The first time we presented him to the ditch he stopped and thought about running out. I kicked pretty aggressively until he went over and we worked at it 6 more times until he would just pause before going over instead of stopping. Not too bad IMO. The fourth time over I landed wrong and actually braced myself for the snapping of my bone, my middle finger was in some mane and hit his neck at just the right angle, I swore it was going to dislocate or break. Thankfully it appears it is just sprained, but ow!! Figures it was over the ditches. The instructor also said he is not stopping as much as I think he is though, he looks like he is pausing and not stopping so while I need to push him, he is not actually refusing most of the time. So that is good to know.
I was happy with how he rode and he got a nice, deserved roll when he got home. This week is a lot of fencing work as we are aiming to finish our pasture expansion project by this weekend so no riding is in sight. The horses, however, should be super excited with the expansion project and they better start clapping their hooves in appreciation!