Monday, 20 November 2017

Diamonds in the Mine (November 11 & November 19 Lessons)

November 11th Lesson

This was Apollo and Henry’s first lesson back after about a month.  October was pretty crazy and Henry’s cough came back earlier in the month.  I gave him some time off away from the dusty arena.  Then my coach was sick, followed by my husband’s cat going missing (he was found though!).  So we were severely overdue for a lesson!

Poofy unicorn pony

The plan until I go away for holidays in December is to get back onto our weekly lesson schedule.  I honestly don’t do a lot of exciting/groundbreaking things in my lessons right now (it would be more exciting to watch paint dry for ST).  But I find it keeps me riding more regularly to know I have a lesson coming up.  And even though we are saddleless wonders there are lots of little things we can work on. 

Apollo was first up and we did some walk/trot and then transitioned into our lateral work.  He felt a bit sluggish to begin with, I'm not sure if he was a bit stiff or just feeling lazy.  We are trying to perfect our leg yields at the moment.  He tends to drift through his shoulder and ST has been helping me be clearer with my cues and to raise my expectations of the quality.  We also have started learning turn on the haunches/forehand. 

Apollo starts guessing what I’m going to ask him before I even cue anything so it’s important for us not to drill anything.  ST thinks he’s very smart and sensitive.  His M.O. is to use speed when he’s flustered or feels crooked, it also usually unnerves me so I stop asking him to do whatever I was asking (ie take my leg off) so we are trying to un-train me in that area.

He looks like a chesterfield in his new dress

Henry was next and he was very looky!  On our previous ride the sprinklers dripped on us a bit in one corner and he seemed to remember that.  ST reminded me to breathe and ride him forward, eventually the corner of doom was a-ok.  We did some trotting and I didn’t feel like a potato as much as a normally do, so that’s a win.  I asked her if we could free jump really quickly.

And yeah….

He can jump I guess!  She said he would have no problem with the 1.10m classes if that was something I wanted to do.  I also felt like she was kind of wondering what I want to do with him.   Which is a good question… Hunters/Jumpers/Eventing?  I don’t know.  I’ll get a freakin saddle first and we can go from there. 

November 19th Lesson

Henry developed a bit of a weird skin funk on his back in the past week unfortunately.  He's doing much better now, shout out to my girl at Feeding My Heart to the Hawk for the excellent skin care tips!  I'm not sure if it's rain rot or what but it's much better (almost gone entirely), unfortunately on lesson morning one spot re-opened on his spine.  I decided just to shampoo and blowdry him (and do a tea tree oil/baby oil treatment) and to give him the day off. 

So Apollo got the whole lesson! 

Majestic post-lesson selfie

He was more zippy and a lot less sluggish than my previous lesson.  We worked on getting him to stretch into the contact more.  He walked and trotted really nicely to the left but to the right his trotting was super ugly.  He had the world's shortest neck and only wanted to canter.  Eventually with some transitions and circles he felt much better.  A few sketchy zoomy moments in there but nothing major.

We chipped away at our leg yield and turn-on-the-haunches.  Not lovely.  He spends a lot of time trying to predict what I'm going to ask him to do (before I ask him) so I need to work on doing a bunch of different things in different places so he can't read my mind/the pattern as well.... and hopefully waits for me to ask him to do something!  I like to tilt forward on him and drop my hands so I need to think about sitting tall, pinching my shoulders together, and lifting my hands when I ride him also.

Lots of good homework for us!  He is definitely feeling very sound and enjoying having a job.  I feel like a saddle will really help us.  I'm leaning towards a dressage saddle for him at the moment (but not buying anything any time soon).  I can keep my eyes peeled for good deals after Henry's saddle arrives as Apollo is fairly easy to fit... he's just super wide.

<3 this pone


  1. Hope it works for you!

    Apollo sounds like such a pleaser. Doing things slow is so hard mom!! Fast is easy, and then it's over! Lol sounds like you're doing better :)

    Love the picture

    1. Thanks! He is a pleaser, constantly trying to find the right thing to do... without being asked to do anything hhaha. Yeah things are going well at the moment :)

    2. Oops, all the pictures off course, but especially the last one ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›

  2. Henry got hops!! Glad your lessons are coming along nicely.

    1. He sure does! Thanks me too, I'm really lucky to have ST as my coach.

  3. Henry can't wait to have a saddle so you guys can get to jumping the sticks! Sounds like things are going very well, especially considering you ride bareback all the time!