Thursday, July 13, 2017

Milestone: Lesson Recap 7/9

No new pony pictures so you get some more pictures from Kentucky
As mentioned in my previous post the plan was for me to have a lesson once I got back on Sunday to make up for the past Tuesday when we canceled due to the holiday. Jane's amazingly nice and flexible as she didn't expect me to set a time on Sunday and just watched for me to get there so that I didn't need to feel stressed about making it at a specific time after my flight. I ended up getting there right around 5 I think so it was hot but not unbearable.

We warmed up using the full ring again and getting Katai cruising before we asked for anything else. She was moving nicely to start (especially after a few days off) and so after a bit we did some leg yields and we NAILED them! We've still been struggling but on Sunday we really got them. I think it was a combination of getting her off my leg better in warmup and that I'm finally starting to put the pieces together to be able to ride them appropriately even as her balance changes throughout the movement.

After a walk break we did some shoulder in and just worked on sitting trot in general. It's already improved from how it was at my last lesson but I'm still struggling with losing my stirrups and maintaining consistency in my position. Even with that we got some really good should in. Jane had me do an exercise where we'd do half the long side, do a 10 meter circle and then go straight for the rest of the long side just to make it so that Katai didn't need to do SI the whole distance. I struggled enough with getting her shoulder off the wall and making the 10 meter circles appropriately that Jane set up cones and that ended up being as much a focus of the exercise as the SI was. Ah well, I have to keep reminding myself that this sitting trot thing is really new for both of us.

Overall Jane was really happy with our SI and with our progress in sitting trot as well.

Downtown Lexington
After another walk break we started our canter work and did some counter canter through shallow serpentines. To the right we did quite well but (maybe because she was tired after all the canter to the right and SI) to the left she struggled and wanted to use speed to cheat. However, her canter is still much improved and she's mostly letting me slow her down and control the rhythm and tempo better than she was.

At our final walk break Jane brought up that she thinks we're going to be ready for 1st level at our next show!!! I may make that goal after all. First level test 1 basically has the addition of leg yield and if we can keep going the way we have recently we'll be ready for that by the end of August for that show. Then I'll probably also enter Training 2. It will still be opportunity classes for both and then next year I'll join all of the things so that we have more test options.

The horse park is such a beautiful place
We also decided that instead of doing any other schooling shows I'm going to do two clinic rides with Susanne likely in November. She teaches the clinic at my old barn which is just a few miles away and we'll trailer there and back both days so it will be a great experience for Katai. It shouldn't be too intimidating since she lived there for awhile and it's a nice short journey so it shouldn't be overly stressful. It will also be good for me since I'm sure I'll learn even more than I would at a show.

It was such a great lesson and felt like a great payoff after a few tougher rides :)


  1. Such a good lesson! Clinics are better learning experiences then shows for sure.

    1. Yes! I've really wanted to do more clinics but right now there are two clinicians that come to town that are fairly close to Jane's teaching style (we haven't been with her that long, are still making tons of progress, and I don't want to confuse myself or Katai) and those are Susanne and Janet Foy. I don't feel like we're quite ready for Janet Foy and it's a pricy thing to ride with her so I'll take full advantage of having Susanne so close by. Hopefully I can ride with her a few more times during the winter months!

  2. Ooooh that's so exciting!! It sounds like the pieces are really coming together!!

    1. I agree!! It makes it so fun to go to the barn every day :)