AKA I haven’t done a lesson post in a while so this’ll be a 3 in 1. Actually come to think of it I haven’t been doing much posting of anything lately. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day.
Tacked up the beast. Got on and warmed up without to much complaint from my hips and lower back. Yes I’m still having issues from the fall… or maybe the issues have always been there and I just ignored them until the fall exasperated them. Ignoring things can be bad. Lesson learned (but probably not).
So we started the lesson. Jump the quarter line vertical. Simple stuff. Only apparently my body felt that I was asking to much. Total failure. Not the jump. Tucker is jumping GREAT. Body failure. Couldn’t recover on landing, couldn’t move him forward, couldn’t get the lead change. Big fat fail.
So naturally G had us repeat the exercise and added a halt and then trot into a line for 6 strides. Missed the lead change, got pulled forward when I asked for a halt, got 7 strides in the line and then missed the lead change.
G was none to pleased. So he had us do it again and added a circle after the 6 stride, tight turn to a one stride to a bending 6 stride. Didn’t get the lead, halt was good, I think I got the 6 strides, but then got 6.5 strides in the bending.
It was half way through the lesson. G was fuming. And I was done. I forgot to mention that we were riding outside, my glasses were fogged up the whole time so I basically couldn’t see anything. I told G I was done, thanked him and left the ring. Tucker and I walked to the back of the property and it was at that point that I realised just how much pain I was in. The simple rhythm of Tucker walking had me in tears. Not good!
You might think for sure this crazy girl went for some sort of treatment between lessons to put everything back in place. You’d be wrong. See above… lesson not learned. I fully expected a crap ride and to get yelled out of the ring. I was wrong.
It turned out to be one of our better rides in quite some time.
From there we went back to the exercise from the previous lesson. Quarter line vertical, trot into the line for 6 strides, no circle, tight turn to the one stride bending line in 6 strides. Missed the lead after the quarter line (nothing new these days), I counted 7 strides through the line but G didn’t yell so I might have counted wrong, and then I completely messed up. I couldn’t organize in time, keep him moving forward and get straight for the one stride. We jumped in and I pulled out. Bad! Circled around and came back through. I knew I’d need a lot of left leg aid to keep him from pulling out again. We made it over but had serious left drift which meant we added a stride in the bending. Not great but still way better than our last lesson.
G had us do the exact same thing again and added the quarter line vertical jumped the opposite direction, circle, tight turn to the one stride bend the other direction in 6 strides and then halt. Missed the lead after the quarter line, got 6 strides, missed the lead, trotted and changed it and made the turn and held him straighter through the one stride, pushed him up hill through the bending in 6 strides, got the lead, and finished with the 6 strides and halt. Not perfect but I’ll take it and G agreed.
G asked if I had one more in me. I said since I was heading to the chiropractor after the lesson I’d push it. As he was explaining the next course, I was shifting around and following what he was saying and my back popped. Not to pleasant. I turned back to straighten out and noticed G had stopped talking. He was looking at me with bug eyes and asked if that was my back. He heard it… from a good 20 feet away. I said yes and that I was done for the day. He said it was so loud it was almost visible. At least now he knows I’m not making up excuses for my terrible riding. I was happy to finish there, we ended on a good note.
Private lesson. So I asked for a flat lesson. We focused on getting Tucker to move off my leg and move different parts of his body. Have I mentioned that my horse although brilliant has been a bit of a tool. He’s decided to start throwing temper tantrums.
G had me start off by going around the ring and doing a circle off the quarter line through the middle of the ring at the trot and then the canter. Tucker made me work for it and G stopped us after the trot circle to explain a GM concept. When GM gets on a new horse he starts out by moving forward. Gallop your horse and cluck. This should get them to respond to the cluck when you need a little more forward rhythm or you feel them start to die without needing all the leg.
Tantrum #1 time. These tantrums consist of protesting my requests to move forward by stalling and backing up and when I insist that yes leg does mean you have to move he starts bucking. The length of time it took for G to explain the GM method Tucker decided that he was done. Umm no. Sorry buddy. So we came up with some new tactics for dealing with my bratty boy.
G has a reining background so we used some of their training methods to deal with difficult horses. Basically if he starts pulling the I’m going to backup to the point of rearing I need to quickly and not gently pull him into a “spin”. Obviously we aren’t actually spinning (although it would be cool) just turning in a tight circle while clucking and tapping with the crop. The idea is to make him work harder avoiding what I’m asking him to do then just doing what I’m asking.
After we did that a few times and he was convinced that yes moving forward would be a better option we moved onto the GM gallop. That worked like a charm. Gallop down the long side while clucking, rebalance through the corner and then move forward again up the long side with just a cluck. So cool. We finished off the exercise of the trot and canter circles in both directions and then stopped to chat again with G about getting Tucker to respect the leg ie. be a little less dead to the leg. G says I need to work more at the walk. Not just asking him to move forward but moving him around with haunches in and shoulder in.
Tantrum #2. Sorry Tucker I’ve got your number now. Even if forward means sideways we’re moving not backing or bucking!
So we worked on shoulder in and then haunches in and got tantrum 3, 4 and 5. Tucker doesn’t like being asked to do hard stuff. That is until he gets the hang of what you want. Then he turns into an over achieving superstar that will almost literally bend himself into a prancing pretzel. Where was this horse at the start of the ride?!?!? We ended after about a good 15 minutes of no tantrums.
Wow that’s a long one. Sorry about that. I really do need to get back to posting more regularly. One more exam and then hopefully back to normal.