I had a great lesson on Sunday. Katai was her new, normal self and went right into work mode. We started off with me giving L some more information on how things went at the clinic. It felt like it had been awhile, and it has, since last week Katai had her reactive moment so I did my best to remember the important stuff. The good thing is that through analyzing how things went and working through some of it myself over the last couple of weeks I actually realized something else.
Suzanne had made a comment that my glutes were too tight and I needed to use my core more independently. This had actually come up with L previously when she told me to only tighten my abs and not my butt and in that moment I had realized that I’ve always done both at the same time and couldn’t separate them. At that point I started working on it but had sort of forgotten about it. With that comment from Suzanne and the seat realization I had made I’ve been riding different and realized that my tense butt was chasing my poor pony around. It’s crazy what it takes sometimes to really be aware of your body!
After a good warmup I got on a 20 meter circle and first we worked on the bend. Very quickly though L started telling me to put leg on. She said that she knew that quiet, not-so-forward, pony is a novelty for me but that I can’t just let her jog around. She shouldn't get quick but she actually needs to use her hind legs. Going to the right especially Katai wants to pull down and drop on the forehand and while everything else is better and she swingier and working through her back she still needs to work and push herself forward and certainly not just drop on the forehand.
It was tough, I’ll admit, because I’ve really started to like having a slightly slower, more maneuverable, more relaxed pony. Eventually all of these things will come with her more forward version but now it’s a fine line and I rarely get everything at once. However, once I actually started expecting her to push from behind we got some amazing trot. We also got some AMAZING canter to the left! There was actually some jump to it and some hang time. Katai has always had a decent, three beat, balanced canter but it’s certainly nothing fancy. On Sunday though pony brought the fancy to the left and just not as much to the right which has always been her weaker side.
A couple of other things that came up are that I’m over twisting to the inside with my pelvis on the circles to the right, I drop my left shoulder going to the left, and tend to carry my right hand higher than my left. I also give away my right hand and this is starting to cause issues now so I need to really make myself hold (in a giving way) that hand and carry it and not just keep letting go of the contact.
The show season came up and I mentioned the first couple of shows that I’m planning on attending. This was the first time I had brought up the Three Ring Circus show with her and I found out that she’s actually taking her green baby horse for the same reason I’m bringing Katai. Because the absolute chaos will be good for him. She is going to trailer in ahead of time and stall overnight so I’m going to try to do the same. We’ll see if there are any stalls available because I know that they normally fill up quickly. If not, it will be a good experience for her to have to stand tied to the trailer and stuff herself with hay (and scream because we all know there will be lots of screaming).
And again, my trainer has more faith in us than I seem to :)
L brought up opportunity classes (I think this is what she mentioned) and that since I’ve never showed before I actually could do some rated shows this year without having to be a member of organizations (hoping this is what she said. I’ll do some digging over the next week). I asked if I should wait for that until next year and she said –with a big smile on her face- that we should just wait and see how the first few shows go. She was already picking out my rated show schedule and determining which of the local rated shows I should go to. It’s so amazing to have a coach that supports showing, believes in my ability, and is giving me the gentle push I need to just get out and show already!