I know, it is Friday, and I am just now getting around to blogging about my lessons last weekend. But since it is already overdue, I will just cut to the chase already.
On Saturday, I did a dressage lesson with Kelsey. It was freezing compared to the previous few days, and April was doing her best impression of a snorting dragon while I tacked up, so I really didn't know what the day would hold. We hacked down to Kelsey's farm, which is only a 20 minute walk on horseback. It was decided that I would lesson first, since April didn't particularly look like she would settle into standing around and waiting (Robyn and Linkin were with us for back-to-back lesson times)
It was an awesome ride. We spent a solid amount of time working on the walk, then progressed up to the trot. It was, without a doubt, one of the softest amounts of contact I have ever held while having her go correctly. There wasn't the slightest bit of tension. Ironically, the ride was not without its issues - the skippy-canter thing cropped up a few times - but we worked through everything very effectively and quickly, always coming back to that soft, rhythmic trot.
On Sunday, we loaded up and trailered over to Ivy's. I have to say, the lesson started well, quickly turned fairly disastrous, and then ended back on a good note - it was a rather interesting day, to say the least. For one thing, I was incredibly sore from a solid hour of hardcore dressage the day before. For another, we had both had an entire week off beforehand due to a combination of rain and bad footing at the farm. So we weren't exactly coming into the day with our "A" game ready. The flatwork went well. Then we progressed into jumping. I had a huge revelation about turning off the outside aids - something I realized I had always "heard" about, but never had to learn or use, since Delilah and I had never gotten that far. I learned that I have re-developed an old habit of burying my hands in my lap, which is a huge part of what made the ride turn disastrous. My thinking is that it is my way of subconsciencely trying to bring her head down, since she likes to get her head really high before a fence. In effect, it is doing the opposite. It is pissing April off, and causing us to fight with each other. I also have a bad habit of swinging my hips, or pumping my seat. I am quickly learning how to be a QUIET rider - it is the best side effect of riding a sensitive horse.
So that is my weekend of lessons in a nutshell. A huge thanks to Robyn, who was my helping hand on the ground and videographer. I am always so grateful to her for the many times she has sat on the sidelines taking video or pictures, when I don't doubt she would rather be taking her own lesson. The generousity of a true friend is something to never be taken forgranted!!!
Without further ado, here are a few clips!