I was supposed to ride a fourth day, but opted to finish on day 3 because all of the hauling was starting to wear both me and the horse out and I found out that someone had hit my horse trailer* while it was parked on the street, so I didn't want to haul until I made sure the structural integrity of it was OK.
|Thankfully the damage was minimized to the fender, but still|
frustrating to have it damaged after BF put so much
work into it. :(
*I had left my trailer hooked up to my truck on the street (it typically gets parked at the BF's moms) and had unhitched my truck earlier in the day to run some errands. I guess some time before my lesson that night, someone backed into it and left a note in the mailbox. I didn't notice the damage when I hooked up (I actually tack up and everything on the other side of the trailer) so I didn't find out about it until the BF texted me saying we had a note in the mailbox. Thankfully, the horse trailer is fine. We are going through insurance for the damages and only the fiberglass fender is damaged.
|Doing some "lengthening" across the diagonal.|
Back to the lesson, a lot of what we had worked on the previous two sessions was applied, and all the suppling exercises we had done the day before really played a huge role in Annie's bendability (it's a word, I swear) and ability to perform better, especially with her bad lead. In fact, we didn't get a wrong lead at all! Yahoo!
|My hands are much too high (some weird habit I apparently|
have now...) but I love the engagement in Annie!
- Don't tip forward in the canter transition - sit back and up. Tipping forward will throw Annie off balance.
- Push each stride of the canter, especially on her weaker side. Don't micromanage it too much, just let her canter and figure it out.
- Outside leg and outside rein are your friends for the 20m canter circles.
- Outside rein in general is your new BFF, it's time to break up with the inside rein.
- When you transition from canter to trot, push her forward to maintain the flow of energy.
- Lower your hands a bit more (as evidenced by the photo above). I've never had that problem before so idk why I do now!
- The indoor arena is small (for Dressage tests), so you need to prepare well in advance, especially for turning down centerline.
- When she becomes distracted, give some suppling squeezes with the reins and push her forwards.
|Achieving some bend thru the circle.|
All in all, the last lesson was my favorite and I was pretty proud of my mare and her performance. That feeling of pride continued to the farrier appointment, wherein Annie was a perfect patient! Initially, we weren't sure if we would be able to shoe all 4 hooves, as most of that would depend on Annie's thoughts about the whole process. But she was good, aside from when she got a bit more nervous about Farrier hammering the nails in on her one hind.
|I am really not photogenic... but at least the mare is cute.|
The lessons were a lot of fun, as well as educational for both me and my mare. As T had said to me, "having outside forces pushing my boundaries just a little since I can't be relied on to consistently push myself, way too easy to leave the unknowns worrying me for another day!". And maybe those boundaries are set unknowingly - we normally stop at a certain point, or we *think* we won't be able to get XYZ so we avoid it or work on something else. It may not be fear that prevents us from pushing further, it may just be that we aren't sure where to go from here.
As I had stated previously, the lessons were taken for a few reasons:
1. Establish that Annie and I were on the right path
2. Push the boundaries and see "where do we go from here"
3. Confidence boost for the both of us
|Well earned couple days off grazing|
in the front with her BFF.
I think we rightly achieved all three points with great success. The pictures and videos may not be the best, but I am very happy with the progress we made and the new tools we have in our toolbox.