I started last week off with a Monday lesson on Lexi the Giant.
(Okay, that’s a lie. I actually started the week with a very, very long lunge for an exceedingly energetic Lexisaurus Rex, who thought the mass of ground poles leaning against the arena wall were 100% terrifying the moment we entered the arena, before I could even shut the gate behind us.)
Our goal for the lesson was to begin adding in lateral work to our standard walk/trot routine in preparation for eventual control over her lope. The Trainer set up a lot of ground poles (several lines, all with different amounts of poles in them) and I worked on sitting deep to rate Lexi’s speed and straightening her turns out, now that she’s a little too eager to bend. Then we worked on the turn on the haunch/turn on the forehand maneuvers. The turn on the haunch was much easier for her than the turn on the forehand. We ended our lesson by putting it all together—trotting over the poles, halting from the trot, turning, then trotting off again from the halt.
We spent Tuesday practicing the same movements. It was a good ride and I was impressed with how quickly Lexi polished up her turn on the haunches (though her turn on the forehand still needs a lot of consistent practice).
Wednesday morning the vet was out, then I tacked Lexi up for my weekly group lesson with the Show Buddy. The Trainer checked in with us to find out what we wanted to work on and I volunteered to spend the whole lesson working on Lexi’s halts (and, by extension, her rein back). We warmed up at the trot with an emphasis on shoulder control, then dove right into the battle over backing up (which she has quite the attitude about). There were a couple of times where she locked completely and I had to disengage (read: move) her hindquarters before we could continue, but once we had the back we schooled her halts using the rein back whenever she disregarded my voice/seat.
Thursday the arena was ridiculously busy. Trainer A had three large exercises set up in the middle of the arena, plus there was a person lunging and a couple more people riding on the rail. I loved it! A busy ring is a great experience for a green horse, so Lexi and I mostly worked on navigating between horses, with a little bit of work on her extended trot, her halts, her rein back, and her turn on the haunch/forehand. She took the busy arena in stride and was very professional throughout the whole ride.
Friday was very busy, so I spent my time at the stable pampering Ezhno (AKA removing half a ton of hair off of him) and taking some last minute measurements/trying some of the lesson saddles on him for fit (the pink stirrup fit best). He wasn’t pleased to stand around for so long, but he kept his cool (mostly).
The week wrapped up with the tack sale on Saturday and some extra shopping on Sunday… but more on that later. 😉