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Another One: Lesson Recap 1/26

Not sure if I mentioned it in this blog but Katai completely
destroyed the tail flap on her blanket.
I got it fixed but it isn't pretty if you look close haha
I have a second lesson recap for you this week but his time it wasn't my lesson but my friend H's! I've talked a little about H and having her watch my lesson here and now it was my turn to go to her barn and watch her lesson. I was also really excited about meeting at least a few of the GRPs that her instructor recently bought.

I picked up my new Hufglocken boots on the way there and will be posting a review very soon! I also discovered that with my new living location, where I'm about 31 minutes from Katai, I'm actually only about 32 minutes from H's barn. The distance to that side of the cities has been at least one deterrent for me about boarding there (along with the very high price) so with that out of the way I was curious how I'd feel once I was there and how I would feel about H's lesson.

I had left work a bit early to get there and so I stopped by Chipotle and got a vegan burrito salad which was delicious and which I ate while H tacked up her pony. We talked a lot about how she's been and also about her watching Veggie for me soon since I may be losing a roommate and then it was time for her lesson.

I walked over to the seating area and watched her warming up. I always learn so much from watching other riders and was really interested to see how much lateral work she did at the walk to warm up. I ended up already incorporating that in my ride on Friday and it worked great. Then her instructor showed up and she started at the trot.

Her instructor had her start off with some 20 meter circles and changes of direction. Her pony was tight through the back and wanting to keep his neck up and short/stiff rather than reach forward and work through his back. Her instructor also thought he maybe had a bit of a painful belly since he had more gas than normal.  It was one of those lessons where I feel like H never really got him where she wanted him, he was resistant the whole time, and never really bent when going to the right. I felt for her because her pony and Katai are very similar in their resistances and I've certainly had my share of lessons like this.

A few things I took away:

-Despite not feeling like I have as many opportunities as H I'm working an many of the same things. Not with as much knowledge or technique but it feels good to know that we both have our own struggles with shoulder in for example.
-I actually wasn't as wowed (seriously been hero worshiping him for the past year or so) by her instructor as I have been. This is the first lesson I've watched since I've started lessons with Jane and while he is an incredibly wonderful and successful instructor as I've said before, Jane is who I need right now and is much more effective with me and Katai than I think this person would be (all based on a guess of course since I haven't ridden with him).
-I'd really like to take a lesson with him now that I've started with Jane because after seeing this lesson with H I don't think I'd be wasting his time or feel as intimidated as I would have last year.
-I'd also really like to ride with Janet Foy if I ever get the chance. H rode with her and I'm close enough that again, I don't think I'd be wasting Janet's time.
-Dressage is hard and even when you get to a point where you might be thinking of moving to 2nd level, you may still have days where you struggle to get your horse on the contact and/or with doing a correct shoulder in.

-The importance of having a great horse/rider relationship can't be understated. I could tell that H was getting really frustrated at times and her instructor mentioned it as well. Last year I would have been in the same place. She handled it well but it did create more tension and I really think that it's what caused Katai to be so unridable up until this past few months. It was a good reminder not to go back there.
-It was also a good reminder of why it's good that I just have Katai. H has been able to ride all these amazing school masters and naturally talented riding ponies which would certainly make my fuse for my own pony much shorter

After H's lesson I stuck around and met one of the sport ponies. She's a 5 year old with about a year of professional training but was just transported up to MN from FL about 1 week ago so they just did some trot with changes of direction. She was gorgeous, such a nice little mover, and just completely in your pocket. I still like my little girl more though which always makes me happy :)

I just love her, even when she's makes faces like this


  1. I love that quote! So true. Always good to realize how happy you are with your own coach and pony :)

  2. I like Katai best, too :) So true about second level. On a good day, we're there, on a bad day, we can't even go or turn reliably lol


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