_

_

Monday, 9 January 2017

Henry Lessons #5 & #6

I have my 2017 goals post mostly complete in my draft folder but I wanted to write my lesson recap from Saturday (and also from November 29th) before I forgot any more details.



Henry's first selfie




Henry Lesson #5 - with Coach D

I had a lesson booked with Coach D on a Monday night and planned on riding Apollo.  But Apollo had done a lesson on Saturday and then we had a long ride on Sunday, so I decided to give him the night off.  I decided she could give me a few pointers with Henry instead.

I sensed that she thought I was a bit completely nuts for riding my bouncy baby warmblood in a bareback pad since mid-October.  I was hoping Henry would be on his best behavior to show her that he is really a sensible dude.



We recently "jumped" this huge jump, serious business 




He did not disappoint!  We trotted a little course of poles and she helped us put in some really rudimentary lateral work.  It never even occurred to me to think about leg yields...I have mostly focused on not bouncing into oblivion while trotting so it gave me something else to focus on.  We also walked over the tarp a few times in a few different directions.


I had a friend have a bad wreck when taking off her coat on a young horse so Henry and I have been practicing me throwing my coat on objects from a stand still and a walk (these are the weird things you do when you have no saddle).  I was pretty proud to launch my vest at the mounting block and not have my horse blink!


Coach D loves Henry!  She was blown away by his quiet temperament and his honesty (I gave him kind of a lousy approach to our poles a few times and he didn't ditch out, when it would have been really easy to and most horses likely would have).







I have definitely been incorporating Coach D's lateral work suggestions into Henry's routine.  She also suggested I take more of a contact (I am the president of the long reins club) and start asking him to be very slightly bent to the inside, to start setting us up for being more collected at some point.

Overall it was a great lesson and I was super proud of Henry!


Henry Lesson #6 with ST

Henry and I have just started back on our once a week Saturday morning lesson schedule with ST.  I feel useful enough at the trot at we can actually do things besides me trying not to bounce off.

So as mentioned, Henry is pretty quiet and sensible... he's not a spooky dude.  But he does have one thing that he really does not like. Tractors.  Tractors are not our friends.


WE HATE YOU TRACTOR




They have been doing some construction and putting new arena lights in so a few times in the last week the tractor has been parked in the arena.  Much to Henry's horror.  I debated not riding at all but decided it would be good for us to work on this tractor-phobia.  So we had a few rides near the tractor last week, with only one episode of flying backwards that was quickly resolved.  I mostly stayed in the other side of the arena for trot work but did a lot of walking around the tractor.  I was alone a lot so I sang along with the radio to keep my body relaxed haha!

The tractor wasn't in the arena on Friday but when I pulled up on Saturday morning, it was waiting for me in the middle of the arena.  I grumbled at first but I realized it would be nice to have some extra help with working on the tractor-phobia.

ST gave me some good cues to not stare at the tractor (hah!) and to work on bending Henry to give him something to focus on.  We ended up with some really relaxed trot around the tractor, which I was very pleased with!

We spent a fair bit of time tweaking my position too (which does weird things bareback sometimes).  We agreed that I have pretty much trained Henry to trot kind of slow... which although not ideal is helpful for bareback life.

Well-deserved post-lesson meal <3



So a few positions tweaks (like not gripping with my knees or doing weird things with my hands) and having relaxed rides near the tractor was our homework for this week :)

I'm excited to get back into a regular routine with ST again!

My husband bought a Go-Pro on Boxing Day and I'm hoping he'll get up early for one of my lessons soon and help me get some actual riding media!




16 comments:

  1. I love that half light / half dark photo!! Sounds like he's doing really well in the lessons ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kinda neat right? Yes Henry is a good egg :)

      Delete
  2. Henry sounds like such a great horse. I'm so excited to read about your lessons with him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's a good boy for sure! I think my lessons will be a bit more interesting once I have a saddle again :)

      Delete
  3. Henry sounds like a champ.
    Also where do I send my application for Vice Presidency of the long reins club?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is!
      I approve your application :D Welcome!

      Delete
  4. Love Henry's first selfie. He's too adorable. Great work with Henry, he is a star and getting better all the time. You know he's thinking " I ain't a scared of no stinking tractor!" Nice work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks, he is a cutie. He's definitely over his tractor phobia :)

      Delete
  5. The jacket thing is so important to practice, it's definitely something he'll have to handle his whole life! The only time I've ever come off my mare was when someone handed me a gift bag and she did not like... she then ate out of the bag for months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying to do "scary" things as much as I can in controlled situations rather than fun surprises haha. That's a good idea about the gift, will have to add that to Henry's repertoire ;)

      Delete
  6. Happy to hear Henry is doing so well and that you are still rocking the bareback lessons! (OMG you are going to have a core of steel!!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is a good egg! I did take some time off from lessons during November/December, but I am happy to be feeling a bit stronger at the trot...he is so bouncy!

      Delete
  7. I'm so impressed with you riding bareback so much. I know you don't have much choice, but I'm still impressed! And you are gonna have such a solid seat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like it's definitely making me a better rider... but sometimes stirrups would be so nice haha!

      Delete
  8. So happy to hear things continue to go well with Henry. He's such a good soul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is a good egg. I won the brain lottery with him big time.

      Delete