Friday, August 27, 2010

thursday lesson

Since my Friday rides are no more, my work schedule has changed and I'll be trying to attend a Thursday night lesson (until darkness catches us). Major came to the gate: all week he's been meeting me at the gate and being rewarded with it being too hot to ride and just getting a treat. Last night it was different, and we saddles up and went to walk a few circuts around our arena before heading down the road.

I hadn't ridden since Friday because of a few crazy 105 degree days, but Major was quite well behaved. He enjoyed heading down the road, though when we turned to go to the other stable and not the forest I think he was a bit perplexed. We walked down the street and even across the busy road. Walking into the stable yard he was really unconcerned. He tried to eat the plastic chair, rain barrel, my friend's helmet...time for lesson.

The lesson was a really nice group again, where we each worked on our strengths and weaknesses. We started with working on getting a more extended, flowing walk, asking for the horse to really use himself and feeling the power in the stride. Then luckily (or unluckily!) we worked on Major's major (that is a strange phrase) weakness: suppleness. He is sometimes like turning a freight train. So we were working on bending, moving off leg, flexion on a circle and overall responsiveness. I enjoyed seeing the different lessons click in some horse's (and rider's) mind. I think we only got a few really nice steps in, and I don't "feel" it yet, but that is what practice and more lessons are for.

It was already getting dark as we headed for home. Major walked out nicely, no jigging, but steadily and happily towards home. We did stop for a few bites of grass, with no rush to get home to dinner, and he was put away with a big pile of hay, beet pulp snack and darkness almost complete. The long days are dwindling, and I hate it!

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