Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Trainer Ride: Lesson Recap 12/13

My sister drew this on our whiteboard for my birthday on Friday. In other news I need to change my bio from a 20 something to a 30 something.
Today L rode my pony and it was amazing!! So far L hadn’t ridden my pony for a couple of reasons. One was that Katai had been such a wild card that I don’t think either of us thought it would be especially helpful. She was so wild, resistant, stubborn, and just untrained that having L climb on just seemed like a waste of time and energy especially since I’ve been making good progress with her help from the ground. More recently though that’s been changing as Katai gets more broke and more rideable. She’s becoming more consistent both with the good and with the bad and L has been mentioning that she has wanted to put a ride(s) on her. I’ve sort of been waiting for L to say "Today is the day!" but based on an interaction with a different student last week I decided that I should set it up and ask her to ride instead. L is very collaborative and I think that if she thinks that I want to ride she’s not going to say anything. So instead I got to the barn a little early today so that I was there before L was in a lesson and asked if she’d like to ride. She agreed that it would be a good day and gathered her riding gear. I tacked up Katai in time for my lesson and then climbed up for a little to warm her up while the other person was riding. Then once she was done with that lesson L mounted up and started Katai at the walk.
I think that both of us were surprised at how differently Katai acted with L. She had a completely different reaction with her than she does with me and didn’t try to race off at all despite L riding with way more leg than I’ve ever been brave enough to try. However, because of that L found out that she’s insanely stiff to one side and just is not comfortable bending to the left. I’ve known she’s stiff but not that it’s an unusual amount so pony is going to be scheduled for some body work. She already has a chiro appointment at the beginning of January but now she’s going to get scheduled for a massage as well.
Both L and I also agreed that we were surprised that she didn’t have more of a tantrum. She had pretty much given them up but for the last few lessons she’s been throwing one at the beginning and then getting down to work. With L, although she was resistant, she didn’t do anything like that. L did work a lot on the walk, which is Katai’s least favorite gait, and then went to the trot. She was good enough at the trot that L didn’t do much and then it was my turn for the second half of the lesson. I couldn’t believe how good, and how different my pony was when I got on. This is why you have your trainer ride your pony! It was an amazing lesson just riding her for those first 10 minutes before Katai went back to more of the way that she goes with me. It was like riding a different horse, one that was in front of my leg, on my aids, balance, and listening to what I asked rather than just running through everything.
L said at the end of my lesson, during my ride I basically just tried to feel her out and not "ruin" anything which was a lesson in and of itself, that she wants to ride at the beginning of the next few lessons and I heartily agreed. I’m also planning on asking her to do a training ride or two in January while I’m in WA for work because I think that would be helpful.
Also, on a slightly unrelated note, remember how I said that one of my qualifications for an instructor was that they needed to be able to be small enough to ride my pony? I knew that L was shorter than me but we ended up shortening my stirrup irons three holes and she rides with a longer leg than I do. She and Katai made a really nice pair and it was so nice to see my pony being so well ridden. I really think Katai has got some talent for this dressage thing!!!
One of my friends got some video during my ride and that will be shared once she gets it posted :-)
Being able to ride outside on my birthday in December was amazing!


  1. Trainer rides are THE BEST! Glad it went so well.

    1. I agree! Me too, I can't wait until her ride tomorrow. I'm looking forward to learning so much!