Monday, January 12, 2009

Run Junior Run

Between busy with work and weather that didn't want to play nice, I hadn't been to the barn since my Thursday lesson. I decided to jump into the 7pm lesson (my old lesson time) even though I got there at 10 minutes to 7. KAT doesn't usually get the lessons started until a quarter after the hour anyway, depending on how long it takes to get everyones tack checked and mounted. I went out to lunge at about 7. He immediately took off galloping and bucking. Not as badly out of control as he did that one day on November. He tore around for a while and then did this very crazy rear-buck-lunge-thing that I deemed inappropriate so I made him stop and reminded him whose show this is. I sent him off the other direction and he continued to gallop with his tail upright. At that speed he wore himself out in no time and broke to a trot and then walked into me. I let him stop and gave him a pat and sent him off again as a reminder that I am the decider about when to stop. He was visibly worn out, though, so I led him over to the wall to mount and let him catch his breath. And to think I ALMOST considered jumping right on since it was so close to lesson time!

The lesson was pretty good. KAT even commented on how far he's come and at such a fast pace as of late. I think he's improved more in the past two weeks than he did in the first two months I had him. It's not any fault of his that it's taken time. I am an amateur with a rather limited education and it's certainly taken some time for me to redevelop my seat and balance and learn new sets of cues. I started learning some of that when I was riding at an Arab barn just outside of Minneapolis. I rode un-finished horses there so I began learning about training then. I didn't like that barn much, though. I liked the trainer and the facility and there were VERY nice horses there. I didn't like the rest of the riders. There was a group of young high-schoolers there who were very mean to me. I never knew why. I was older than they and I don't think I DID anything to encourage their behavior. I was friendly to them. I think it started because the bully-girl of the group had a favorite horse and this favorite horse was the horse I kept being put on for lessons. I think I only rode 3 horses there. The first was the typical little bay mare school horse, but then I went between two green 5 year old mares. I think it bugged the girl that I kept riding "her" horse. I even got to take her to her first show.......THAT was a disaster. The girls would fill my grooming box with corn and when I left my boots there once they filled those too. I don't even know where they GOT the corn. I don't think the horses were being fed corn. I would often find my saddles uncovered, too. That tack room didn't have a door and it was VERY dusty. Most of the boarders kept their tack in big wooden armoirs. I just had mine on a stand with an old blanket over them. I'd get to the barn and find corn and dusty saddles. I never did figure out what their problem was. I'm sure the fact that I'd been riding almost as long as some of them had been alive didn't make things better since I was learning a new style of riding. (coming from serious hunters to Arabian WP and Hunter Pleasure) Then I got a little experience when I worked with ponies for a few months.

My confidence is increasing all the time. I still get those moments right before I lope when I get a little nervous, but I just have to remind myself how much better he's been and then when he lopes off so quietly and softly I forget to be afraid and get to concentrate on helping him organize his body.

When I left I got the sweetest cuddle/kiss from him! I then had to wipe it off of my shoulder with a towel, but oh well: that's love!

I'm not sure if I'll get to him tomorrow. We're starting our club lessons again on Wednesday so I'll be back into weekly lessons and pretty soon I can try to do more morning rides. Though, riding at 7 or 8pm is nicer than the after school rush. We'll see.

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