Finally, after nearly a month and a half of being grounded due to having the trailer serviced, being on equine flu lockdown and being busy moving house, yesterday we got out in the trailer again for a lesson!
In hindsight, we are still very much in the middle of being busy moving house, in fact, after morning tutoring yesterday we took the trailer (minus Pea) to B & Q and Argos to pick up some bits for the house and for my other half’s wall building renovation project. The pressure of getting back in time for leaving at 3.40 for my lesson didn’t make for a relaxing shopping experience!
Despite the rush, we managed the shop (I’m sat on my new office chair as I write this) AND managed to get sorted ready for our trailer trip. I was quite nervous about travelling Pea in such windy weather – she’s not a nervous traveller but I’m always nervous travelling her! I need not have worried, it wasn’t as windy on the roads as it was at the yard and it was all fine.
If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook you will know that on Friday I had a schooling session that just didn’t go to plan so I was worried that in my lesson we might not show the progress that I thought we had made recently. Again, I need not have worried! Pea was an absolute superstar and my instructor was really impressed with how much more consistent she was with the contact in trot.
Then it came to the fateful words ‘lets have a look at your canter’. Now, if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that canter has always been our nemesis. I find it uncomfortable hip-wise and Pea is still unbalanced and weak in the canter.. In this lesson, it was the worst it has been for a while! When things go wrong in life I soldier on but when things go wrong in riding I have a tendency to crunch up and have a complete mental block. Thankfully my instructor helped me out and interestingly told me that often when a horse starts using themselves properly in the trot (which obviously takes more effort than just bumbling around) they find it harder to canter. She said that if they are used to running from the trot into the canter they suddenly find that they can’t do that from a more correct trot. When one door opens, another gets stuck eh!?
Once we had achieved some kind of canter work we moved onto working on my halts. I’m afraid until yesterday my halts were pretty basic – just make her stop! My instructor taught me to use my seat, my body and my breathing (breath out!) to transition to halt to encourage Pea to do a correct halt. She has a tendency to leave a hind leg behind so I need to work on letting her step through and finish her step.
SO much to work on, so much to improve but that excites me. For the focus of the lesson to be on something other than getting her to accept the contact makes me feel like we are improving. Now I just need to find another competition to aim for!