I should’ve written this right away, while it was all fresh… but here goes.
Joy’s first time in an arena with mirrors! It didn’t occur to me that this would be an issue. I’ve never had a horse react very much to mirrors.
It took a good 15 minutes of airs above the grounds before she settled enough to listen to me again. Didn’t stop the constant nickering to her reflection, but at least her feet were closer to the ground.
I wish I’d gotten some pics of it. She was quite the sight. Prancing and preening to herself in the mirror.
I put her back in her stall while we waited for our lesson and she screamed her fool head off. I assure you, this pony has a good set of lungs on her.
Oh.. i bought some splint/dressage boots, all white with the fluffy fake wool, for the lesson. I figured if we couldn’t awe them with our riding skills, then we could dazzle them with fashy stuff, right?
For some reason, it was really important for me to convince them she was a nice dressage pony. I guess because I’ve invested so much effort into her training, and have done it all myself… it wasn’t really about the pony.
Anyway, they looked sharp on her.
We start the lesson, and of course new trainer is feeling us out and I’m not riding all that sophisticated.. but she’s offering good suggestions and I’m seeing where I need to improve.
All good stuff.
Then she gets on the pony (I asked her too).
My God! She made Joy look like a million bucks! Like those fancy horses you see that are light years out of your budget. Just beautiful. Fluid, and soft, and powerful.
Look at that hind leg!
She even got Joy to do a really nice lengthen on the first try. A lengthen I have never come anywhere near creating. It was so awesome!!!
What was really nice to hear:
She said Joy had a great walk and trot. Great shoulder in. Great lateral work. Was one of the few ponies she’s ridden that you could ride with your core. That she thought Joy would do Piaffe easily (once there). And that if I decide to sell her, to let her know. 😁
But her canter sucks.
Which I knew. No shocker there.(she didn’t really say it sucked, she was far too nice to put it that way).
And then I got back on…
I tried to replicate the lengthen and failed miserable. She said my hips were too tight. Which embarresed me, because I don’t want to be one of those old people with tight hips, but apparently I am (will work on this).
I did get great suggestions on improving the stretchy circle, leg yields, lengthens, and the trot overall.
And she gave me homework for the canter.
When I rode Joy again, after the lesson, I tried applying the homework she gave me for the canter and found i could duplicate a good canter at home. I think spending more time focusing on the canter overall will help a great deal over time.
Anyway, what I liked most was that this instructor was able to make quite significant changes and effect change within the first 15 minutes of my lesson, that she saw Joy as a pony with potential, and that she was excited to work with us.
I’m really digging the new trainer!
We go back again July 6th. Hopefully I’ll have everything we covered this lesson addressed and we can start working towards bigger goals!
Also, I have vid, but my video editing software is a pain and I’m lazy, so you’ll get it later…