We had our lesson on Sunday! It was awesome!
My trainer started off by asking what I’m looking for and how he goes around normally. I explained that I’d like to do jumping with him as long as he is comfortable but he is 19 and I need to make sure that we build his muscles correctly. I wanted to make sure we are using our back correctly as well.
She then had us warm up as we normally would and then put us to work after she got a view of how we moved. We worked on a circle for a lot of the ride, focused on maintaining Scarlet’s bend and his impulsion while bending. She wanted his neck and back engaged and his stride marching. After we got that, we focused on pushing Scarlet into the outside rein. It was much more difficult going to the right than the left. Scarlet is very stiff in that direction.
It really helps to have someone tell me when something is going right. I could really feel Scarlet marching along and the bounce in the canter but it is difficult to get the bend and the outside rein without some instruction.
My trainer really liked how he moved and feels like he can really get it with some more work. Our homework is making sure he moves his legs when going forward (impulsion), bend with emphasis on the right since he is so stiff on that side and getting Scarlet to move into the outside rein. Obviously, all these things contribute to the other but its good to have things to focus on.
On Monday, I was really looking forward to testing how we would do on everything without someone watching over us. I was really impressed. Scarlet was very responsive and bent well. We didn’t have as much of a marching feeling but I did feel like we engaged out back. I was so happy with him for focusing well. There was someone who came in halfway through our ride to lunge in the arena. We did have a discussion then about keeping his head down so his back could engage. He wanted to raise his head to watch the other horse. It was a tough discussion but I eventually talked him around to it.
Tuesday was our day off. I went back out on Wednesday. The fire here has picked up again so it was pretty smokey. I wanted to get back out but it isn’t great for either of us to be inhaling tons of smoke. So I decided that we would just do a short ride of walk and trot. Our walk was amazing. Scarlet was forward and swing-y even when engaging his back and keeping his head lowered. We had a couple of good circles and transitions each way and then I called it quits.
I’m super impressed as to how much the one lesson impacted our riding so far. I’m also very happy with how Scarlet has continued to respond. It has been 3 days with only two of riding and he is still going great. I’m excited to see how far we can take this and what we can do next time if we have this down by our next lesson.