Sunday, September 27, 2009

Different disciplines, different days

The pony had Friday and Saturday off, and today she was HOT. Its hard for her to even control herself when she gets too hot for her own skin. She is also in season so her head isn't really on straight. I think she went into season yesterday, so hopefully by the end of the week her head will be back on and we can continue with our schedule. Until then I will continue to work on improving her fitness and trying to maintain her flatwork, framing, and bending. I'm also working on a suggestion Anne had about downward transitions.

 She says she has all her horses trained to stand still when she presses her hands into their withers. She said it helps her a lot when she is foxhunting and has to go from a gallop to a halt, and keep her horse calm. The pony's downward transitions are lacking in crispness, so that is what we practiced today. I worked her for a solid 45 minutes, and spent most of the time doing serpentines, changing the bend, circles, and transitions. Her upward transitions are not as crisp as they used to be, so we will practice that too.

Grayson gave me a short lesson on Emma today! David was riding her and I commented on how slow she was! I've never really spent much time around any western riders or horses, especially western pleasure horses. So Grayson told me to get on and gave me some helpful hints about how to ride a western pleasure horse. It felt so weird to be on a horse that lopes slower than the pony can walk! Grayson had me play with her mouth to get her to drop her head, then kiss to her and off she loped. I didn't get it right right away though, apparently she was going way too fast (slower than the pony's slowest gear). So Grayson explained the concept again: I needed to essentially ride her with her haunches in and keep my shoulders turned in so that it looks like she is straight. Grayson got on and showed me Emma's slowest gear and then had me get back on and do it. It was so cool! That was three disciplines in three days!

On that note, I loved my dressage lesson! Patrick had me ride a very cute Dutch Warmblood mare that schools fourth level. We practiced lots of 20m circles, and maintaining the bend the whole time. Patrick had to spend much of the time teaching me some of the things that I will have to know to do well on my tests, like the difference between a free walk and a medium walk. He also gave me tips on how to make things more showy. He lengthened my leg, and I felt like I was riding with no stirrups. I am excited for the team though, I will be riding at Training level since I have never done dressage, and he thinks that I will do really well and really help us win.

 At the end of the lesson he asked me if I have any experience working with babies and breaking and working greenies. I told him some experience but I'd like more, and I'd be happy to help him with the ones that he is going to have. He then proceeded to tell me that he wouldn't charge me for helping him. I had spent most of the lesson telling him how hard I have worked to get where I am, since I didn't have the money for any of it. It caught me by surprise that he would think that there was even a chance that I would pay him to help him break babies, considering that is what he is getting paid to do.

 Oh well, I guess I still have a lot to learn about human nature.

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