Finally got out to ride Barnabus again yesterday. I'm so ready for spring! Anyway, spent some extra time grooming him since he was caked in mud, but only on one side. I should have had my phone with me to take a picture! One side is normal looking, and then he turned around in the stall, and OMG! Mud from eyeball to tail, and spine to hooves. Dude must have found an excellent mudhole to sleep in Saturday night.
So, after the cloud of dirt settles from my vigorous grooming, I get Barnabus all tacked up and we head out to the arena for a lesson. He now understands that he has to stand still to be mounted. Yay! But... he still wants to step off as soon as my butt lands in the saddle. He knows he shouldn't, because as soon as I said "hey!" and twitched the reins, he stood stock still. We'll get there eventually. The lesson wasn't as great as prior ones had been. I wasn't as balanced on him, so every time we turned the corner and started moving up or down hill (the arena's on a slight slope), we had issues with either turning where I wanted to turn, or maintaining gait. The last exercise my instructor had us do was a real eye-opener for that. She had us do a posting trot down the short side (also downhil), and after we turned the corner, we were to pick up the right-lead canter. Mid-way down the long side, we were to canter a large circle, then continue down the long side and halt. Yeah.... The first and last parts of that exercise were great. The canter part, not so much! My being off balance (and, I'm assuming his stubborness about where he wanted to make the circle) caused us to canter lots of half circles (and trot the other half). My last repitition of that, I decided to ask for a trot right before the spot where he'd break, and he did that nicely, so we called it a day. Always good to end on a high note, right?
Now for my minor rant
, I found out that one of the instructors at the barn (not the BO!) had used Barnabus in her lesson on Saturday morning. Now, I don't have a problem with that part as I'd told everyone that he could be used in the lessons. But she put a little girl who'd only had 2 prior lessons on him! And he took off on her at one point in the lesson. Really?!? A horse we don't know well, except that he's got some big holes in his training, who's real personality is just coming out as he gains weight and energy, and you're going to put a little girl who knows nothing on him? I don't know if the girl fell off (I'm assuming she did). When I see my BO tomorrow, I'm going to chat with her about this. Ok, rant over!