Friday, November 7, 2008

Tonight was fabulous

Had a working student lesson tonight at Columbia Horse Center. They had me on Shroeder, one of the intermediate horses. I'd ridden him a couple of times back during the summer and liked him, though I didn't fall immediately in love with him the way I've done a couple of other horses there that I've ridden.

Tonight, one of the first exercises Carolyn had us do was ride with "handlebars". That is, the saddlepads we were using have these velcro/nylon straps that usually fasten around the billet straps for the girth and help keep the saddle in place. She had us un-velcro them and pull them out and hold onto them along with the reins while we rode, the idea being that it would help us keep our hands still.

It was an interesting exercise, but it made steering awkward. I'm not sure if I didn't have the reins at the right length or that was just Shroeder, though. Most likely it was mostly me. ;)

We did that walking and at a posting trot several times around the ring before she had us try cantering with them. Once we'd tried it cantering, she let us go back to riding normally and we did some more cantering around the ring, both ways. Shroeder was pretty easy to get to canter, though the transition I'm fairly certain wasn't very pretty. Mostly I think that was because he wanted to do this poky trot that wasn't likely to make it easy for him to transition up. Once I got him up there, he wasn't inclined to just motor along either, he'dve dropped (and tried) back into a trot given the opportunity but I just squeezed with my legs or gave him a cluck when I felt him about to slow and he kept right on going.

It was kind of weird because Shroeder kept drifting to the inside of the ring like Cameo, though he managed not to be as annoying about it. Partly because he seemed to really just want to go on the "inside track" of the ring (I guess so he could cut corners and not have as far to go) as opposed to go to the middle of the ring and stop like Cameo kept trying. And it didn't take much more than a twitch of the outside rein and me nudging him with my inside leg a few times to convince him to go back over to the wall, so I didn't really mind.

After cantering, we worked in some jumping which...Carolyn started us just going over trotting poles posting first and making sure our horses stayed straight going through them. After that, she had us do two point over the trotting poles. Then she made a really low crossrail (preceded by trotting poles) and had us post up to it and do two point over it, again with the idea of keeping our horses straight. Progressively, she raised the crossrails until it became something they might actually jump over instead of simply trot over and that's about when she had us choose at random whether we'd go left or right when we got to the wall after the jump. With the idea still being to keep the horse straight and also prevent them from anticipating which way they'd have to turn so they'd be listening to us instead. Shroeder performed like a champ (except still wanting several times to go through a little too slow for which Carolyn got after me to get more energy out of him).

Ended definitely on a good note and I was pretty pleased. I should've asked Carolyn how my two point had looked, though, I'm pretty sure it was kinda crappy. Or at least I felt like I was more hunchy than I could've been.

Though if I was, I imagine she would've said something, so it could be all in my head. I need to get somebody to agree to come out and tape me in a lesson or two so I can see myself. Or even just a couple of times like, posting a bit, cantering, and going over a crossrail.

Doing the working student thing tomorrow, should be fun. :) Going to also ask Kristy about working in a private lesson on Tuesday and maybe she'll let me ride Shroeder again.

Oh, and in other news, I am currently on the books to ride Simone on my Monday night lesson. Huzzah! No more Cameo! (for now) And Simone seems like a sweetheart, though I guess we'll see. I haven't ridden her yet, but I've wanted to since I first saw her.

No comments: