First lesson with new trainer
I'm so excited...today (finally!) was my first lesson with my AQHA trainer. I'm hopefully going to take Ace to his place once a week, and he's going to aim me towards AQHA hunter under saddle and equitation, then eventually hunter hack. I realize we have a lot to work on, but he said that Ace is a good enough mover to do the HUS (which I was pleased to hear) and that showing this fall/winter would be possible. For a while we worked on keeping Ace on a circle and getting him to give his head and keep it down. He said I have to be very consistent with it, teaching him that when he's working, he needs to hold his head the way I want him to. He also stressed the importance of using my legs too, so he doesn't just drop back from the pressure, but goes into the bit and uses his hindquarters. Ace did really well with that; he gave me some time to try it on my own and he was really wanting to stretch down after a while and was taking some very powerful steps! Then we tried a small horsemanship pattern, which Ace pretty much failed at but he said that was okay, we'll just have something to work on. At the end he took Ace to his round pen and free lunged him in a device sort of like side reins (worked the same but not side reins) and gave me a martingale to ride in at home to get him used to giving to pressure and keeping his head down. He's definitely not a trainer to use force or lots of bit pulling or gadgets, but he said he likes to start horses out in the martingale/side reins to get them used to giving to pressure and staying there where it's more comfortable, then once they get the idea they work without it, except for the occasional tune up. He said he liked the martingale because it would still be my rein pressure, with a little added something. He wants Ace to want to give, not have to. So, all in all, I know we have a LOT to work on, but I'm so excited that I've found someone who really wants to get us to where I want to be. Can't wait til the next lesson! We're finally getting some professional help!