Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Good Riding Horse: Lesson Recap 7/17

I had a great lesson today but it was a little weird. I feel like I haven't had regular lessons in a long time. I missed my past two lessons (L was on vacation one week and I was on vacation the next) so it felt odd to be riding in one today. I've been having some great rides over the past few weeks and L was able to make some great progress with Katai last week so I was looking forward to riding with her and getting more feedback.

We started off with an amazing trot!! L gave me some feedback on a few small things, that I needed to get her neck a little lower and to pause a bit more at the top of my posting, but mostly it felt amazing. After a walk break we went to working on spiral in and out at the trot and throwing in canter transitions.

I need to practice these more again. For awhile I felt like I was really getting them figured out but now I'm back on the struggle bus. Oh well, time to do more practice! Once we were cantering the main feedback I got was that I was pumping too much with my elbows. I think in an attempt to make sure I wasn't grabbing with my left hand I've been too loose which means too much movement and therefore the pumping. I was able to relax my arms and be much more soft and still which immediately meant that Katai softened. Funny how that works ;)

After another walk break we went back to working on the trot and getting and keeping Katai more in front of my leg. L has correctly identified that I tend to let Katai get behind my leg too much. We started working on turning down the centerline and then halting at X (or other letters so that Katai wouldn't get wise) while focusing on getting her to halt from a trot and to halt square. It clearly pointed out that I couldn't keep her in front of my leg at downward transitions.

It also pointed out that while my turns to the right were pretty good, my turns to the left were complete failures and I overshot the center line every time.

Finally, thanks to some great work on L's part during her past training rides, we did some amazing stretchy trot. Katai was really stretching down while still maintaining the same temp. It felt great and floaty and soft. It was really a great and fun lesson but what made it even better was the conversation we had at the beginning.

Golden State

L and I started off talking about the NDPC and she asked if Golden State had been there. Both of us really think he's amazing and L has mentioned that she'd really like one of his babies. I'd really like one too and I mentioned it but also said that while it would be really fun to breed Katai to him, it's just not something I'd do. First I think I'm the last person qualified to breed a horse and second I just don't know enough about Katai's breeding to know what I'd get. I really lucked out with my pony and think that she's amazing, but when it comes to picking out my next horse I'd rather know a bit more about what I'd get.

At that comment the BM (who did a lot of very successful breeding) said that Katai would make an ADORABLE baby. Katai is one of her favorites which is pretty cool since there are many amazing horses that board there and she started talking about how cute that baby could be. Then L chimed in with a couple of suggestions of who she'd breed Katai to and why. It's really flattering that they were talking about it but I know that neither one of them would actually recommend it. However, at that point L mentioned that it's probably good that I wasn't planning on it since she'd lost her own amazing riding horse to a breeding injury. It made me really happy to hear that L thinks that Katai is worth more as a riding horse than in being bred. I can guarantee you that a few of my friends and acquaintances think that it would be better to breed Katai to a talented horse and get something at least a little better rather than to ride her.

I don't put much stock into what those people think since I think Katai is AMAZING but it's really great to hear that my trainer thinks the same thing :)

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