On Sunday, I started out with a lesson on Chip, who is so awesome he has his own webpage! I am so happy I am able to take a lesson from time to time on a horse like Chip, because he is fantastic and teaches that oh-so-elusive feel!
Chip is 21 now, so he gets lots of walk warm up. Correct walk, he needs good posture for every step. So, on him, I was really focusing on those same things I’d been working on on Bali, inside leg to bend, allow the outside the space to bend, don’t block him with my outside leg. I had to work hard to get him consistent in the walk and his neck shape is a very good indicator of what is behind.
The canter was easier this time than the last time. I still had a couple of transitions where I struggled to find the right amount of core with the right placement of my inside and outside leg (the outside leg goes back a lot more than I am used to).
Once you get Chip fired up, he is a trotting machine! The power of his hind legs is so clearly felt in the seat, and that trot can be collected to a wicked cool passage and piaffe. His rhythm and tempo are so steady, he made me laugh at the passage and how cool it was.
Next up, I got Bali tacked up, and getting on my horse within 20 minutes after getting off Chip, the schoolmaster, is amazing. I immediately kept and maintained that quality feel in the contact and walk work. She had better bend, and quicker reaction to my inside leg. That inside leg only for forward is really helping tons. Gives a super consistent feel. And I kept that inside shoulder back for improved bend and forward.
Neuf! Finally, I had the horse who I thought I was bringing. He was all settled in, a bit nervous and wanting something, ANYTHING, in his mouth, but focused. Ashley lunged him briefly, both directions before I got on. She is much better at the lunging, but I’m integrating it into his work.
On Neufus, I still kept inside leg for bend and kept looking for a consistent contact, but with a different expectation. He is three and three months under saddle. Ashley reminded me to keep that same inside shoulder back, and shockingly, it works on the baby horse…my takeaway there is that I need to not lose all the good habits I am developing because I am on a baby horse.
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. Although, I got a flat tire…it is my curse. Luckily, the new tires are pretty good, and it did not disintegrate, I was home before I realized that it was a complete goner, a bit of sidewall was gone, all the tread was still intact, so my fenders were not damaged. And, I didn’t have to stop in 99F weather to change a tire with two roasting ponies in there.
Both ponies got spoiled with a massage yesterday and the day off, I luckily had scribbled notes on a piece of paper before I hauled out, because after 3.5 hours on the road and 3 lessons, I might not have retained quite as much. I just didn’t have time for a proper write up until today.