There’s nothing like an awesome lesson to help rejuvenate what I’ve been doing with Chewbacca! We went over to the show barn for a late evening lesson and I addressed a couple things with my trainer, which we worked on throughout the lesson – mainly the last couple rides where I couldn’t get him to flex. I discussed what I’d been doing and my concerns, and she thinks I’ve just been asking too lightly. In an effort to avoid “nagging” Chewie’s mouth with multiple little pulses on the rein where I get no response, she showed me today the difference a very clear rein signal makes with him. I tried being suuuuuuper soft at first and went around the whole arena without really being able to get him to drop his head…
These are images I took from the video camera. My husband recorded more than half of my riding lesson, and then just now while I was working on capturing footage, the video camera died and seems to not be working anymore. Uhoh!! I have 20 minutes or so of me riding, and no way to view it now!!!! The camera just won’t power back up. Hmm… not good. I may be buying a new video camera today.
Anyway, so we tracked around with his head pretty much where it’s been the last couple rides and then… ta da…. I found the “drop the head button” I’ve been looking for. I knew I found it once, and then lost it. It took my instructor’s guidance to help me find it again…
Right now I’d say we’re in that “over work the bend” phase of life so he gets the idea. He started out holding this type of position for a stride or two, and then a few more, and then he started working with his head a little more up to the level it should have been at.. which is on my video that I now can’t view. Anyway, I think he looks great, and he’s doing so well!
It took a lesson to help us revisit a couple things we kind of lost over the last couple rides. It really sucks that I can only get a lesson every two weeks. I think at this point in our development – both Chewie’s physical development of muscle and mental development of understanding what I’m asking out of him, and my development as a rider being able to give him clear signals, we need weekly lessons as a reminder.
I find that when I’m teaching my husband something with driving, it’s easy for me to see what needs to be adjusted to accomplish whatever goals we’re trying to meet. But, I’m on the ground watching him and the pony intently. I can read the pony and see what my husband’s doing with his hands and let him know what’s right and what needs to be adjusted. I find it’s a little harder from the top of the horse to decide those things. Which is why I really think I need weekly reminders from an instructor on the ground… “More inside leg…” “Push him forward”… I need someone telling me these things when I’ve lost it a little, and it was clear from the beginning to end of this lesson that it helps Chewie too.
After some walk, trot, and canter, we did a few trotting poles and then cantered over them a couple times each way. He did great. Once we get the right rhythm and make the strides and distance work, Chewie will jump the poles. He’s really getting it and I really look forward to riding him again tomorrow and reminding myself to ride him like I was during the lesson. I really want to try to get him out of the arena too this week, for a little trail ride. He’s been mine for 3 weeks and has been ridden about 8-9 times so far all in the arena. I don’t want to drive him crazy with circles and arena fencing and ground poles. We both need to get out of the arena a little. Hopefully I can get someone to go with me for a short trail ride this week sometime.
Till next time!