My lesson on Friday with Adam was great, and I definitely came home with lots to practice. The main focus of the lesson was forward and straight, and making sure to keep her happy. I kept her on a fairly loose rein, and focused on forward, so that later it can be forward into light contact.
The priority is to maintain the horse with a soft mouth. I made sure to praise her each time she did what I asked, and I had to be really careful with my body to be sure that I was clear and concise with my questions. We practiced lots of transitions, but most transitions were done into the wall so that the question was coming from my body and voice, and never my hands. I had trouble keeping her straight in the transitions as I was running her into the wall, but it got better and better each time.
We also did trotting poles, and halted on a straight line. Eventually he added a crossrail on the end of the trot poles, and we continued to halt after. The first two tries
she ducked out to the right, but it was my fault, I let my body get ahead of her. Once we did get over it though, what a jump! She tucked up big and round and launched over it. This is exciting, she is going to be quite a horse to work with!
On Saturday, Kaitlyn came out to see her, and she took video while Melissa took photos. Then after the ride, Melissa left and Kaitlyn took some photos of Fox and me together. My ride went well, but she was hotter than she has been to this point. She is a good girl though, and we had fun. We practiced the transitions that Adam had us working on, and then after I finished pretty much just giving her some exercise, Marilyn got on and got a feel for her.
Right now I think the plan is to have some light ground work done with her for the next week to ten days, and then she will go to Equi Sport for a week of training board. There she will get ridden by Adam, go on the hot walker, and get put through the jump chute. After that I will be home, so she will come home for me to work with for two weeks before she gets shipped down to NC. She will spend a month at Townsend with Anne on training board, before coming home to Grayson's for the next few months. We will trailer out to Townsend throughout the spring for lessons, and also ship out to shows to hang out and get used to the stress of the show scene.
Today, I'm back in North Carolina (missing Fox of course), so this morning I got up and went to go ride the little mare that Kaitlyn has convinced me to call "Sticky". Sticky comes from Kaitlyn's desire to name a horse "Post It", which is what I will call her if she ever makes it into the show ring. I have two more weeks to work with her before a decision is made on her fate for the winter. She will probably get sent back to me in February though, and then I will have to figure out what Jim Bob wants to do with her. If he wants her shown, he will need to purchase a bridle and martingale for her, as the one she is using isn't show ring suitable.