Yesterday Wednesday, October 1st was me and Katai's 2 year anniversary! Very fittingly we had a lesson and even better it was incredibly wonderful but it didn't start out that way.
It was cold and wet out and Katai was acting like her back was stiff and sore. I warmed her up slowly long and low but she was still cold and that led to a tight hollow back when we did start riding. She was also chilly so she was bouncy and spicy to ride which made dressage tricky.
J fixed things in my riding position and timing and within the first 15 minutes I had a pony that was listening and moving soft, relaxed and through. We had a couple of rough points but the good thing was that she was throwing some things at me that J hasn't seen before so she was able to help and show me how to deal with it.
Then, at the end of the lesson we cantered. It was brilliant I just gave my vocal cue and she started right off balanced, slow and listened beaultifully. I think J was impressed at how natural and easy it was for her but mostly I'm extremely happy to have passed that hurdle. I have now ridden her at all basic gaits in a lesson!
Because of things like the above and a couple of red flags at the barn I had planned on moving to I decided to stay. I did have legitimate reasons to want to move but I was able to get through to J finally about two weeks ago and things have continued to get better. I'm sure I'm going to have to address it again in the future but when I did talk to J about moving she even agreed to put up another line of fencing to keep her in the pasture next year. The two things I'm really missing out on are the heated arena and the trails as well as the ground work type training from an instructor. Haley has agreed to help me with things like the clippers and trailer loading and I can figure out a way to do more trail riding even if it is just riding around the property. I can handle not having the heated arena and it wasn't like that was the main reason I was moving.
I'm actually really happy and relieved to have made this decision because J really is one of the best instructors in the area and her students have proven this time and time again. I really didn't want to move, I was hoping to stay right here for as long as possible but more than anything else I NEED to take lessons with someone who has at least a small amount of respect for both myself and Katai and who will listen to me when I seriously raise an objection about what we are doing especially when it relates to my horse's welfare. I'm still not sure what the future is going to bring but I want to stick this out a little longer.