Experiences from riding lessons
August 12th, 2013 – Joe
This was one wonderful lesson! Joe is a stubborn, yet generally friendly and very reliable Haflinger. I had only worked with him once before and found him a little difficult then. He had been lazy and it was hard to get him to move. Yet, today he seemed to be in a really good mood. He walked easily without me having to do a lot, so I could really get him working. We practiced speed differences (what a fun it is to feel him running freely) and walking backwards and sideways. He was cooperative, and, although his stubbornness showed now and then (which I actually like about him, as it is just part of him), he seemed to be working happily. Nice!
August 19th, 2013 – Newino
Finally! For weeks and weeks I had been begging to be given this horse for a riding lesson – and yesterday there was his name next to mine in the list. I got him ready for the lesson in absolutely high spirits, and he seemed a little amused, but not bothered by my excitement. Newino is a pony of black-grey colour with a white blaze, white spots at his feet and gentle, brown eyes. Totally cute! So, once I had him ready, our lesson started. I didn´t know much about him. There was a short discussion with my teacher whether or not I should use bearing-reins, as he, „is quite strong“, but without really messing around. We decided I could do without these reins. So off we went – or at least this was my idea, not his, as he clearly stated. He went oooh so slowly and wasn´t at all responsive to my tries to move him on. As he is often ridden with a whip, I asked for one and – surprise – Newino can walk at a normal, steady pace, and he did so without further fuss. I sometimes tapped him lightly with the whip, but that was all it needed to keep him going. He also started responding to everything else I did fairly quickly, so that in the end I hardly needed the whip at all. He seemed eager to work with me. Sometimes he even knew what I wanted him to do before I hadn´t really told him! We did some side- and backstepping, which went quite well. He does well at trotting and bends nicely, although he does slow down once you don´t take enough care to keep him going. Canter also was fun, and I was happy to see how well he even starts cantering from walking. Also, I learned something new which he could already do easily: the turn on the forehand. He made it easy by responding to me very well. However, there are two problems I need to work on the next time I get to ride him (which I´ve asked for):
1. He does step backward when I ask him to, but not straightly. I feel that I don´t have much influence with my legs there, that he rather goes as he pleases.
2. Similar problem: Newino often leaves the track to the inner side, preferably in the corners. I try to hold him back with my inner leg, but as in 1, he doesn´t seem interested at all.
All in all, a beautiful lesson, can´t wait till next Monday!
Oh congratulations! Are you new to lessons? Sounds like some good, reliable horses to learn on.
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P.S. I´ve just contacted the stable to ask if it would be okay to post some photos here...*hoping*
Here´s a photo of "Little Joe" (see post 1)
And this is lovely Newino (see post 2), soooo cute!
Sorry I didn´t post in a while, but I´m back now, on my way to today´s riding lesson and I´ll tell you about it tomorrow!
November 4th, 2013 - Ruby
Ruby is a young mare and stunningly beautiful, but … she´s a challenge. I haven´t worked with her since the summer, but today my teacher asked me if I would ride her again. First reaction: sure! Second reaction: oh dear! ;-) She´s okay to ride, but her behaviour when I get her ready for the lesson and when I try to get onto her back sometimes scares me. So I talked to the teacher about how she behaves at the moment and was finally confident that I could manage her. Getting her out of her stable was, as usual, no problem and she wasn´t nearly as scared as last summer when we walked across the parking lot :thumbsup: When I brushed her, she was tense but stood perfectly still. Cleaning her hooves...well. She absolutely knew what I wanted from her and lifted her legs without me having to touch them. At one hind leg, however, she suddenly stretched it, then seemed to lose her balance and kicked. I tried again and again, tried to calm her, but she did the same thing over and over. She didn´t like it at all when I put saddle and bridle on, but we managed. :-)Inside the riding arena she got a little excited, but walking around a little calmed her down quickly. Then, the big moment. I put my foot into the stirrup and – she jumped aside. I´m pretty sure she felt my fear. Some time ago she managed to throw me to the floor by doing that and yes, I was scared. My teacher took her away and tried to calm her down. But Ruby was freaking out by that time. She even reared a little and jumped aside when the teacher had done no more than get hold of her reigns and approach her. I´ve been told that Ruby`s previous owners didn´t treat her well, and I don´t dare think of the details...What the hell have they done to give her such a scare and let her be so mistrusting? :evil:Well, with a lot of patience, stroking and talking I managed to get onto her back. She was still very tense, but calmed down quickly. This is usual: Once you´re on her back, everything´s a lot easier. Everything was fine, both in walk and trot. Then the teacher asked as to let the horses trot over three bars lying on the floor. I had already tried this with her earlier and she had done perfectly fine. However, watching a lesson some time ago, I had seen her starting to run when she reached the bars. I told this to the teacher who said she had never seen her do this and that I should just give it a try. So I did – and Ruby surprised me. She didn´t trot, she didn´t run – she stopped. Then she jumped half-heartedly over the edge of the bars. After laughing heartedly I tried again. This time she did trot over the bars, but lifted her legs high as though the bars were really, really dangerous.:mrgreen: From that point on, it got difficult. Walking was okay, but in trot she sped up sudddenly again and again. When I tried to slow her a little, she stopped altogether. When I tried to keep her trotting, she ran. This horse is so incredibly sensitive. I decided to ignore the bars for today and worked at keeping her trotting on at my pace. I also tried a canter, but no way. She pulled her head up and just ran – trotting. The teacher worked with us at trotting in a circle and turning directions again and again. Finally, she calmed down. She nicely bowed her head and I was able to slow her down when necessary but still keeping her trotting. We even managed a few steps backward :clap: However, this increased her tendency to walk backwards when she´s unwilling.The teacher asked me to try a canter again. I did. Ruby´s whole body tightened and she nearly stopped walking again. When I urged her forward, she pulled her head up and it felt as though she was trying everything to get away from me. I got nervous and wanted to stop, but my teacher told me that no, Ruby was not to get away with that kind of behaviour and that she had to keep trotting at least. This was one of the frequent occasions when I´m not sure whether she´s scared or naughty or both and when I´m not sure what to do with her. I changed the direction and suddenly, without further fuss, she was in canter. And she did beautifully! We tried again and again in both directions, it went perfectly well and felt wonderful. I had the feeling that Ruby was enjoying it as well. :happydance: At the end of the lesson, we were both covered in sweat, but I think we have both learned from each other. Isn´t that the way it should be? :-)
P.S. If you have any ideas on how I can deal with how she´s behaving, I´d be glad if you shared them with me :-)
November 11th and 18th, 2013 - Shadow
Shadow is a Friesian horse and one of my best friends at the stable :-) When I started taking lessons there, I rode him quite regularly, but then he became ill and couldn´t be ridden for several months. It took so long for him to recover that I was really, really worried, but now he´s finally well again and
I´m back in his saddle :happydance:
The first two lessons I took with him went quite well. I felt that we got used to each other again quite quickly, although everything was very different from the ponies I had ridden the weeks before. I had first gotten to know Shadow as a lazy horse who you had to convince of every single step :lol: Now there is much more motivation in him, which makes working with him so much easier! He´s very willing and compliant - as long as you don´t ask him to canter. He always "hopped" a little when starting to canter, but not in a way that would throw you off his back. Now, however, he´s gone from "hopping" to bucking and since he´s got lots of power these jumps are sometimes hard to sit through. Once you have him cantering, he mostly does very well and I think it´s fun for both of us :D
He´s quite sensitive when other horses come close to him which he wasn´t before...do you think that´s because he was out of lessons so long?
November 25th, 2013 - Shadow
So, it was Shadow and me again. It was all quite similar to the weeks before - with, however, one big difference: No bucking! I´m so proud of him! :clap:
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