I’ve been trying to make time for lesson recaps even if nothing else just because as far as journaling my progress on this blog I think these are most important. I apologize for the continued lack of posts but I’m making baby steps to increase my blogging and at least weekly is better than I’ve done in the past :-)
My lesson was on Monday this week due to an event that L was attending so I rushed to get there after work. I like not having to plan my Sunday around a morning lesson but I really dislike being at the mercy of rush hour traffic to get to my lesson on time so I’ll keep my Sunday lesson thank you very much.
My rides this week have been rough but things were looking up on Sunday so I was hoping we could hold it together for my lesson. Katai started out prancing and stiff right off the bat but I got a good warmup in (thanks to rush hour traffic letting me get there on time) and so was in a better place by the time my lesson started. With that being said, she still felt like a stick of dynamite that could go off with the slightest leg pressure so when L asked how she was I explained my rides that week and let her know that this lesson may not be as productive as the last couple. Indeed when she asked me to pick her up Katai got sticky, sucked behind the leg and threatened to rear. L clicked and encouraged and I did a couple of my best pony club kicks and we got to a canter for a little while. After she had settled a little we got back to trot and started to make some progress! While we trotted and I worked on bend L coached that whenever she feels like that I need to send her forward as quick as I can. Gallop or canter or whatever it doesn’t matter but push my elbows forward and kick her on. I know this in theory but in practice I struggle to actually do it so that is one of my main take aways from this lesson and something I’m going to make sure I’m doing this week because it has such immediate results.
After that we had a really great lesson! Katai got sticky and stubborn once more after a walk break but this time she didn’t suck back, she just wanted to go. L coached me through it by again reminding me to just keep my body the same, keep doing the same thing, not to escalate and just to wait for her to comply so that I can praise her. She also reminded me to keep my leg on her and not keep taking it off since that just rewards her for doing the wrong thing. Of course with that expert advice I had a nice walk after a bit and we went back to trot.
Then, once I had a compliant pony, we worked on doing trot/canter transitions into the wall on a ten meter circle. I feel like starting with this lesson I’ve got more to work on than Katai. Her canter is so balanced and while certainly not fancy, it is easy to ride and she is comfortable doing it. I pulled her in an extremely small circle once, my fault for going into autopilot and not looking where I was going, and she just kept right on cantering and doing her best. I was stuck on the struggle buss and was having a tough time seeing the 10 meter circle so our snap was all over the place and couldn’t seem to make the transition at the right point. We finally got one good circle exercise and after a walk break started working on leg yields along the long sides.
We pretty much had leg yields figured out on a spiral 20 meter circle at my last lesson so I’ve been working on my homework and slowly trying to get all the parts of my body to work together. This was another moment when I felt like I’ve got more to work on than Katai. I was struggling with turning down the quarter line and then wasn’t too bad yielding to the right but was blocking with my right rein when trying to leg yield to the left. I finally got it, and sort of felt it, so hopefully I can replicate that tonight when I ride!