Lesson #7 was my last bareback lesson! Huzzah! It was the windiest day ever so Henry was a bit “up”. He’s not really one to spook/bolt in a big way for the most part but he would just love to stop/stare at odd things. The crazy wind was blowing objects outside against the arena walls. Because of this keeping him moving forward was a bit more of a challenge than usual.
Henry: “WHAT WAS THAT?”
Me: “It’s nothing. Carry on.”
Henry: “Ok fine.”
*different wind noise*
Henry: “NOW THAT WAS SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT. WHAT WAS IT?”
This X one million for the first bit of our ride haha!
ST gave me good reminders and cues to keep him moving forward. She also suggested doing some exaggerated bending away from the offending object/noise.
After about 5 or 10 minutes he didn’t care about all the weird noises anymore.
We trotted a line of three poles. He was a bit wiggly but eventually realized going straight was easier and I would bug him less.
After this lesson I felt a lot more pressure to find a saddle. I felt like Henry and I were really stuck in our progress and it was frustrating me.
The Barnsby turned out not to be a fit for either of us and that added to my frustration. I remembered that a friend of mine posted an older Amerigo cc jump saddle not too long after I had paid for the trial on the Barnsby. I decided I needed to give it a try.
It fits Henry beautifully. It’s quite short in the flap for me, but I feel nice and balanced in the seat. I just need to learn to have a steadier lower leg… which is not entirely the saddle’s fault. It’s not 100% perfect but it will do. My friend gave me a pretty good deal on it too, so although it was a little over budget it wasn’t a huge leap out of budget.
In other news, Apollo and Henry are friends now.... whoa
I was so happy to have a saddle for Lesson #8 with ST! My lesson was actually my first ride in the saddle. ST agreed the saddle was a good interim solution. She still thinks for both of us to be 100% comfy we’ll need to go custom but at this point it will work.
Henry was feeling very forward (for him anyway) so we moved into the trot work a lot more quickly than usual. We did some 10m and 20m
circles shapes. I asked ST if she thought we could try a
canter. I sort of wanted to see what he
would do (while I had eyes on the ground).
If there were going to be shenanigans I would make sure my husband was
present for future canter plans.
*Just for a refresher, Henry did canter a few times with RK at his training. But he was pretty lazy/unbalanced about it. I have never cantered him.*
Old pic of Henry and my husband to break up the text!
ST thought a canter attempt was a great idea! I had quite a bad cold and my muscles felt super weak… so I was maybe not the best pilot.
I tried a few times to get him to canter on the left lead and had no luck. He just did a gigantic fancy trot and I lost both of my stirrups and almost fell off. *face palm*
Old pic of me feeding baby Henry
ST thought the right would be easier from him because of the way he naturally likes to travel. So we tried that instead. And she was correct!
He does a very similar “launch” into canter as he does in his walk/trot transitions. I should have been a little more prepared for that but I definitely lost my balance again when he blasted into a canter. Luckily he’s Henry so he did 3 strides and then called it a day. I gave him tons of praise for cantering (although it was the incorrect lead). I was happy enough with those 3 strides but ST told me that I had to do it again.
I decided to shorten my stirrups a hole so my leg felt a bit more solid. And off we went again! This time I was prepared for the departure and actually enjoyed myself.
Bareback trot video...previously shared
His canter is absolutely fantastic! ST called out to me “you are going to have a lot of fun with that canter on the cross country course!” which made me grin. We did about 7 strides this time, but seemed to cover a lot of the arena. ST thinks he has about a 12 foot stride… so I guess that explains it.
I was so incredibly proud of Henry! He tried really hard for me and wasn’t foolish even though I was legit riding like a potato. I’m excited to try again now that I’m feeling 100%. J
A new saddle and our first canter! It was a big day!