After sorting cows on Wednesday, I was supposed to ride the App on a 2-3 hour trail ride Thursday morning and ride the TWH in a lesson Thursday night. When the weather became uncooperative, however, the people I was going riding with cancelled leaving me alone. Sadly I didn't force myself to take advantage of the situation and ride the App anyway, RB3 came over and we did chores, had dinner and hung out until it was lesson time.
I rode the TWH and hoped the lesson would go well and H could finally see the progress I have been making with the TWH. Unfortunately the TWH had other ideas, taking advantage of the fact we hadn't done dressage in several days, and it took a good part of the ride to get him back to where I had him earlier in the week. Between being unsteady in contact, the trot quality being subpar (see last paragraph) and a direct refusal to stay in the outside rein it made an interesting start of a ride. Towards the end we got it though and H was pretty happy with his progress. She said he is definitely better then when she saw him in the last lesson and his dressage will come along nicely once I am able to ride him consistently (ugh, that word. The TWH obviously doesn't like that word and is coming up lame to avoid it).
H asked me my goals and what I wanted to work towards in our lessons. I told her that I wanted to go BN or N this year at a derby, CT or HT, go to a couple of smaller schooling jumping shows and perhaps a dressage show or two. I told her the dressage will come along, it just needs to be ridden more but what I really need her help on with him is the jumping. He is very comfortable in gymnastics but when outside of them he gets quite unbalanced and will often flip/flop his leads or lose gait when jumping a line with more than 3 strides in between the jumps. He is fairly green when it comes to jumping still and needs more exposure and education. She was good with these goals and said she knows of a barn somewhere that has a ginormous indoor that usually has a bunch of jumps set up we can school over when I am ready. Wahoo!
We finished the lesson by cantering over poles on a circle, H wanted to see how the TWH reacted over poles. Turns out he is quite comfortable when he hits a long spot or a good spot. When he reaches a short spot, however, is when he becomes interesting. That is when he swaps his lead, drops his gait or simply will pick up one hind foot and three-leg it over the pole in an effort to make room. Huh. H also said she can more easily see why he is so interesting, she said he is ambidextrous and is very flexible in swinging his legs in whatever fashion I ask which is how I was able to teach him to trot. What I most likely did was show him another way of swinging his legs and when he gets the timing right he is trotting. It makes a lot of sense because when the TWH isn't warmed up or isn't working correctly, he is "trotting" but his timing is slightly off and it isn't a true, connected trot. How interesting!
We had planned for another lesson for this week but that had to be cancelled because the TWH decided to be lame last week. The vet says to bring him back slowly again as if it was a true tendon injury and give him 2 weeks of walking and trot straight lines. So much for jumping lessons!