The Pony is better. Maybe a halfway between a horse and a giraffe—some sort of llama?
She’s dropping her head more consistently now, especially at the walk and trot, where I only have to remind her about my new HUS expectations periodically. Our canter’s still 50% just okay, 50% chaos, but part of that is because it’s hard to focus on frame when you’re working on three other things.
Last week The Trainer introduced us to some fancy equitation patterns. We spent most of our Monday ride working on maneuvers from the patterns that we’d had trouble with, including our counter canter (Belle says it feels weird and she’s never really sure I’m asking for it), our canter to halt transitions (sometimes she slides like a reining pony?), our figure 8’s at the posting trot (even schmeven, our circles can be as lopsided as we want) and our rein back (which causes an immediate return to giraffe status).
Wednesday was our flat lesson. I ran through one of the patterns again (much improved, according to The Trainer!) and then we schooled some better halt to canter transitions (The Pony has trouble with the concept of adding impulsion without stiffening up her entire front half) by sidepassing to loosen her up through her shoulder before asking for the departure again. Then there was three minutes of posting trot without irons (for my benefit) and a few small arguments about how to do a proper rein back (for The Pony’s benefit), during which The Trainer taught me how to use lateral movement and flexion to prevent a rear (for both our benefit?—also, yes, that’s right, she’s always a naughty pony).
Thursday was my lesson with The Show Buddy, which was interrupted by a potential buyer who came to look at a Friesian gelding that’s for sale in the barn—so we got to watch The Trainer show off some Friesian style before we jumped. Then I went over some cross rails without my irons (The Trainer’s right of passage for anyone that wants to go up in jump height) and did a few jumps at two feet for the first time (with irons this time, of course)! Our lesson was short, but we accomplished a lot. We felt so good about ourselves… plus The Trainer added a lesson to next week to make up for the interruption.
Next week is July horse camp, so I’ll be volunteering everyday. This also means that there are no lessons scheduled (outside of the one The Trainer added, which will happen in the afternoon, after camp). I’ll come in early to get some ride time on Belle and then help until I have to go back to work for my afternoon shift.