Thursday, December 1, 2011
I went out to ride Shamrock today, it was a surprise because I don't normally go out on Thursdays. Shamrock was a bit puzzled, I think.
I had to ride with a younger group of girls than usual during their lesson, one of which is very timid and worries over every little thing. When I brought Shamrock in, I heard her tell the trainer that she was nervous because Shamrock was in there (it was something new, I've never ridden with her before). My trainer, however, knows that Shamrock is a sweetheart, has faith in her school horses, and knows I have control over my horse so we weren't kicked out of the arena. ;)
After some trouble mounting (he's figured out tricks, I've posted a thread about it), we warmed up. We did serpentines, hind ends, circles, etc. at the walk and at the trot we did much of the same, but threw in trotting poles as well as walk-halt-back-trot off transitions. He could have done better with the backing, though.
When the two lesson girls left, I had the arena to myself a bit before her next lesson started, so I cantered him. His left lead, as usual, was awesome. He got a bit excited on the right lead, though, and started tossing his head around. We put an end to that real fast.
It came time for the next lesson to start, which consists of 4 girls, so I worked my way around them until I could get my boyfriend's attention to let a horse who had just finished his dinner out of the adjoining field so I could ride in there (it used to be the jump field, but now all the jumps are out of it and some barrels are in there for one of the boarders who barrel races). Shamrock and I have never ridden in there before, so it was new for him (I can tell he's getting tired of the arena, but we don't have much of a choice in where to ride since solo trail rides are against the rules). Shamrock did SO SO SO well in the new environment. The Thoroughbred I rode when I took lessons would always be spooky when we rode in there, and Shamrock was completely calm (though very curious). I walked him around both directions so he could get a feel for it and check things out, then I went to the trot. Due to the field being used as and connected to a pasture, the footing was uneven and there were some plants and things in there, which caused Shamrock to trip because he was dragging his feet. After trotting around in there a bit, though, he started realizing that he had to pick up his feet, which will work for both of our benefits in the future. I even got to canter him in there on the left lead a little bit (he wasn't as comfortable on the right lead). :)
It was a pretty decent ride overall. <3
He's responding really well to light leg aids, I hardly ever have to use heels, just tightening my legs works! Hooray!!
Also, I noticed that he would actually hold his head in correct frame for a good many strides, so that's progress!
I get to ride again tomorrow, I'm excited!
Oh.. and I realized that the field I rode in today is slightly sloped, which may help build his hind end muscles. :)