Has it really been over 2 months since my last lesson? This year is just flying by. I finally took a lesson with H, it was another dressage lesson because I haven't been riding enough for a jumping lesson. The main goal of the lesson was to see how my position is and to get H's opinion on TWH on if I should keep forging forward or if I should look for the 3rd horse.
Overall the lesson went well. I am always reminded how disappointed I am when riding TWH with H because we never have these brilliant moments where she has me make him do something amazing. When I rode the App, I got that feeling regularly and loved her lessons. With the TWH, not so much. A lot of times it is like having someone just dictating my ride and this ride wasn't much different. We started at the walk and then I went to the trot and putzed around, working to keep my hands together and in front of me. H said that she had to get used to seeing him move again, she forgot how differently he moved.
We went the other direction and she had us do a few figure 8's to see how he is handling the changes of direction, which turned out to be fabulously. The last dressage lesson we were having a really hard time with him dropping his right shoulder when making a 10m circle to go up centerline so she was happy he appeared to have fixed that issue. We worked on some spiraling in and out to see if we could get some back to front connection and he would get it for a step or two but then would lose it.
She then wanted to see if we could create suspension in his trot. He has a huge stride in the trot but has virtually no suspension. She suspects this is because of his ambling gaits, he is designed to not have suspension. His trot is great but still technically flat. She had us try some shoulder in and then leg yielding to try to create some suspension without any additional suspension being created. She had us trot over some poles to reinforce the suspension but as soon as TWH was over the poles he went back to his calorie-conservative, ground eating trot.
We finished up by playing with some canter transitions and she was quite pleased with his progress, when she last saw him he would still have some pacey steps but he is now picking the trot up right away in the canter/trot transition. Yay for us!
Overall we didn't actually accomplish much. My position is really good, I just need to keep my reins shorter so the hands are more in front of me. I need to try to weight my right (bad) leg more. We spent a lot of the ride talking about goals. I told her I wanted to get through Novice, go to Training and even dabble in Prelim if I could before I got old and broken. I know my beloved TWH won't be competitive past Novice and will only be competitive at Novice at local shows. He can't help that and we don't seem to be able to make it better. I think I am going to finish out the season with a show Aug 18th, Sept 9th and finish it up October 5th. After that I think I am just going to find that third horse and make it a goal to have that horse in training for my next show horse. TWH will either play with Novice next year while I work on the project or will be my everything else horse. He is willing to do everything/anything I ask of him and he is a great companion for my aging Appy. I guess that is where I am and wanted to share, a little disappointed that I can't make him work out better for what I wanted but I am not throwing him away. We will see how things go, I have a lesson on the TWH next Weds in a jumping lesson. Might as well have some fun!