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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Brick by Brick

Last weekend Apollo and I had a lesson with coach D!  The idea to lesson with Apollo and D popped into my head as I was re-grouping from my ultimate rubble lesson.  I ride Apollo the most - I thought that making sure I was practicing properly in my time away from lessons would be a a good idea.

I haven't had very positive lessons on Apollo in my life.  A lot of instructors have said some pretty harsh things about us, particularly him.  And not constructive criticism either.  Hearing that your horse is stupid, ugly or useless has yet to improve anything in my experience.  Those kind of comments shut my brain off to learning pretty quickly.

I actually had made up mind not too long ago that I wouldn't lesson on him again.  We have so much fun now (on the trails and in the arena) that I didn't want to ruin it by having someone come in and sh*t all over it.  But I decided to give it another try.


And it was freakin awesome.  All the photos in this post came from D on her phone :)







Apollo's been a bit spicy lately and I've been feeling very crooked/clunky in correcting him.  I explained this to Coach D and she adjusted my stirrups to a better length.  And voila - much better!  Not perfect but a huge improvement.  He seemed to relax more to because I wasn't so tense holding my body where I thought it should be.

She absolutely loved him.   Took lots of pictures of him to show her friends how cute he is and gave him lots of pets (which he loved).  She rode him for a while too and had a lot fun with him.


My face here...wtf...



She said 16 is still young and there's a lot that he and I can get out and do together.  She saw potential for dressage or eventing.  She loved his quiet temperament and willing attitude.





She gave us lots of good things to work on:

1) Practice walking and trotting through a "fan" of three poles on the ground.

2) Set a line of poles down the center of the arena with spaces in between.  Leg yield through the spaces or do a mini serpentine through the center of the poles.

3) Ride with contact (I ride with super loose reins a lot....which doesn't help anyone).

4) Think about inside leg to outside rein more, especially in moments where he feels crooked. 




Post-lesson sweaty pony!

  

 After years of being "torn down" in lessons I am so grateful to have D.  I learn so much but I also have a lot of fun.  I wish I had found her sooner!  I need to figure out how to fit more lessons with her into my meager budget. :)  


   


30 comments:

  1. Apollo is one good lookin' dude! Glad you had a positive lesson with him. I can't imagine why anyone would say such terrible things about him! :/

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    1. Thank you! :) I have gotten it from more than one instructor, he gets frazzled easily (but so do I) but he really tries his best. I love him to bits so it pretty much makes me automatically hate someone when they don't think he's handsome haha

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  2. D sounds perfect! What a great lesson! And anyone that can't appreciate the horse of a student (unless it's dangerous or unsound) doesn't deserve any respect.

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    1. She is awesome! I think going through a string of not-so-great instructors has made me appreciate her even more :)

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  3. He is so handsome! Sounds like you found the perfect match for the two of you and that is so great to hear! No one needs negativity...

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    1. Thanks, I sure think so :) Yeah I feel pretty darn lucky!

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  4. Ugly? Ugly! Wtf! I love Apollo. So handsome. How incredibly unprofessional to denigrate someone's horse or pony. So happy you found some one who understands! D sounds awesomesauce!!

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    1. I think he's handsome too! I don't see the benefit of insulting someone's horse...nothing good can come from it. I am so happy I found D! She loves the big lug. :)

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  5. he is so handsome!!! and I totally hear you on the loose rein thing :) happy you got a good lesson with CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. It is already so hard to stay positive as it is, keep those around you that make you feel good and motivated to work harder.

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    1. Aw thanks! I am the worst for long reining it.... I guess maybe it's better than too short reins? (right? ha) I definitely struggle with staying positive, so I really need a postive instructor...who I'm happy to have found after 20 odd years. :)

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  6. Apollo is a handsome guy with an intelligent face and kind eyes. Anyone would. Love him!

    Glad you had such a great lesson. Finding the right trainer is a blessing. Continue to have fun!

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    1. Thanks, I think he's pretty darn handsome! :) I am so blessed to have D, I can't wait for my next lesson (which is a really strange feeling for me!)

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  7. This is fabulous. I seriously hope you can finagle the budget for more lessons, and possibly for some shows next year :)

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    1. Agreed! :) I sure hope I can figure something out, shows and more lessons would be so awesome :)

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  8. i am so glad you have such a positive trainer now. there is seriously *no room* in riding for people who are going to be negative or unkind about your horse. sure, constructive criticism is a real and useful tool... but calling a horse ugly or useless is unacceptable. esp when the horse is as cute as Apollo!! so happy it was such a good lesson :D

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    1. I am so happy! I had no idea it would be such a challenge. Here's to many more! :D

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  9. The trainers that put Apollo down are assholes. I'm glad that you had a positive experience and were able to learn while having fun!

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    1. I agree. I wish I could go back in time and stand up for him and myself. But at least moving forward I have an awesome instructor for us :)

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  10. He is so cute! I'm so glad you had such a great lesson and that you have been able to work with D. She sounds perfect for you guys!

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    1. Thanks! :D I think he's pretty dreamy. D is so wonderful, I am so grateful that I found her :)

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  11. I feel like any "instructor" who comes in and does nothing but berate you and/or your horse, isn't much of a teacher at all. And YES I'm talking to you George Morris.
    Apollo is ADORABLE and I'm sure he's not stupid. I'm glad you have found someone that can actually help you better your riding and not let you pay him/her for insulting you and your herd.

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    1. I wonder if GM is the one who gives instructors the idea to tear everyone down so much! I kept running into the same personality over and over again (so I kind of decided to give up on lessons altogether for a while). I think my pony is adorable too! :D And I'm sure happy that I found D.

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  12. I'm so glad you had a good lesson! Apollo is NOT stupid, ugly or useless! Anyone who says things like that has no business being an instructor, in my opinion.

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    1. Thanks! I agree, I wish I hadn't wasted so much time and money trying to make it work with negative instructors.

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  13. Funny that those instructors said he looked ugly because that first picture actually made me think wow, what a cutie! lol It's a horse's heart and mind that really matters- don't listen to the naysayers that try and tell you otherwise.

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    1. I think he's pretty cute! Not for everyone but definitely for me :) I'm happy that I moved on from the negative instructors.

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  14. Positive coaching makes all the difference - no idea why anything less than that is considered acceptable, it would be considered so unprofessional in any other context. So glad you had a great lesson with (the unquestionably good looking) Apollo!
    PS thanks so much for your very kind comment on my last post, it's much appreciated :)

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    1. I think he's a handsome dude! I have a hard time taking criticism of myself... but I can handle it. When instructors insulted my horse it kind of broke my heart, such a mean and unproductive thing to do!

      You're welcome! :) You always leave me such kind comments too!

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