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My Beau 11-20-2010 09:19 AM

Had my 1st lesson with new trainer :)
After almost 2 years of not having any instruction and just doing my own thing, because my last trainer burned me out with the need to win every show and not-so-awesome teaching style (that I realized towards the end), I rode in my first lesson last night with a new trainer. New trainer is a dressage judge & USDF bronze medalist - and she's GREAT!

Beau & I have been showing all year and have been doing very well, but he's still not in that great of shape - riding in circles in the backyard and doing two 4-minute dressage tests is one thing, a 45-minute private lesson that made us WORK is another ;)

We trailered out to her place and her BEAUTIFUL super-bright (think runway!) indoor arena - Beau settled in right away, which surprised me to a degree.

First thing we worked on was his walk - taking it from his short, little, QH stride to a "sexy panther walk". He started to really swing after a few minutes, which is GREAT, we always struggle with the walk.

We worked on getting his trot really forward and then she had me slow down my posting to slow his stride while encouraging him to take longer strides. We did 20m spiral circles to work on his habit of popping his outside shoulder out when bending. We worked on flexion since he's a bit stiff in his right jaw and straightness since his hindquarters tend to come in on the long sides. The whole time she had me encouraging him to lift his back.

For the canter work we worked on transitions into the canter from a forward, light trot and then once in the canter we worked on bending through the rib cage.

As a rider, she had me think "relaxed" the entire time - I do tend to hold with my thighs and even knees, to a degree. So I was all about calves, calves, calves. I also need to work on my elbows - she said I "ride like an eventer"... which makes sense, haha. I have "chicken wings". See?

My trainer likes Beau, though he's a QH and doesn't have super fancy movement - he TRIES! He'll attempt to do almost anything you ask of him and she said he has the capability to go First Level, which is my goal for him :) His hocks were up under him by the end of the lesson, instead of trailing out behind him. At the end of the lesson, I didn't have much of a horse left - he was absolutely exhausted and when I woke up this morning, WOW! Are my legs sore! But, that's a good thing, we worked hard and can't wait for next week's lesson!

Ok, now I'm done celebrating :D

HalfPass 11-20-2010 10:04 AM

Yay for all that.
Sounds like a really nice trainer. I love this pic of you and Beau!
I am really considering changing trainers at this time. I am just frustrated and not happy with what the gal does and doesnt do with the horse

You two are going to progress quickly with a good trainer!


kitten_Val 11-20-2010 12:36 PM

Congrats! Sounds very much like my trainer. Good luck in progressing!

P.S. Just curious, could you PM me the name? Not gonna change my trainer :wink: , just wondering if yours was the one who was recommended to me as well when I was looking...

kmacdougall 11-20-2010 01:05 PM

Congrats! It is such a good feeling.
On another note, super jealous of your weather/tan.. It snowed here this morning!

My Beau 11-20-2010 04:05 PM

Thanks guys :)
kmacdougall, that picture was from a show back in august... I think, just to show you my "chicken wings". My tan is now almost gone and it's quite chilly here today... and Beau is starting to resemble a furry yak now ;)

halfpass, definitely look for a new trainer! I've felt like I've been "drifting".. showing well and winning, but not making progress - I was ready for a challenge. And my trainer has completely revitalized me in just one lesson, it seems, I was so happy with our accomplishments in one night!

And Kitten, I pm'ed you :)

kmacdougall 11-20-2010 05:27 PM

Ahh yes.. Maryland unfortunately gets winter too :(

Klara 11-21-2010 09:18 AM

Itīs very nice, that you have found a good trainer. That is very difficult. The best Trainer in my region is a westerntrainer, so ein switched to Western Style with my Warmblood mare:lol:.

MIEventer 11-21-2010 10:49 AM

I am glad that you found a great Coach! Finding a great Coach is so hard to do, and when you find them, you never want to let them go! lol.

I would love to see some new pictures of the two of you with your new Coach :)

CONGRATS on your progression forward! It is great!

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