|This is how Annie felt about the new rules, haha.|
During the drive out there, I felt more reserved and less than excited to ride my mare. I enjoyed the instructor, but the particular lesson we were having felt very... basic and borderline embarrassing. There is something to be said for dumbing things down to the most simplistic of things and as a rider, it makes me feel very... unaccomplished and silly.
|We did get some good moments!|
She sure moves so much nicer when she's not being nagged
every single stride - much freer and less restricted.
And the cycle needed to be broken.
With it tho, a sliver of self-esteem chipped off. It sounds so melodramatic to say, but I kicked myself (and continue to kick myself) for the lesson and for letting it get so bad that we needed to literally have a pony club kick-a-thon.
|It's weird how altho she looks less schooled in terms of connection|
to the bridle, she looks much more stronger and... elastic?
Anyone have a tiny violin?
|Annie would like a tiny violin as well.|
Note that hind leg reach!
Annie came out of the trailer nicely again, tied well, and quietly munched from her hay bag. She seemed more "up" than the previous day, but other than looking around more, she didn't do much.
|Not the best balance (and whyyy am I grabbing |
with my inside rein), but she's forward!
It was a bit of a wait for the production to begin, as I scrounged up a down deposit and started to sell my other saddles I didn't need (ie. the Bates and Western that didn't fit Annie). Kelsey was amazing with me the entire time - she was super understanding that I couldn't dump $$$ on the saddle ASAP and took payments very leisurely over the course of 6 months. I appreciated the fact she worked with me like that, because I don't particularly like laying down a big sum of cash because it is often when other things go wrong.
|For those curious, that's an AP pad, haha.|
Kelsey also gave me some samplers of Higher Standards leather soap and conditioner, as well as some oil. I have a container of some soap already, but never got to try the conditioner.
Once we got the saddle on, leathers and stirrups changed, we wandered over to the indoor and waited to be called in like the days previous. When we did, Sven did a double take in our direction and commented on our Dressage get up. I filled him in on the whole "dis is my new saddle!!" and he seemed pretty stoked to see I was in actual proper attire, haha. Unfortunately, I didn't plan my riding outfit well and it kind of clashed with my pad choice... sigh. C'est la vie, I guess.
We started out as we had the day previous. Some of the points to remember, and some of the things I found interesting:
- She needs to learn to carry you and herself - you aren't asking for anything huge or unreasonable.
- Horses who lack forward need things drawn in black and white, but at the same time, it's important to be careful when re-affirming the forward button. You don't want to create a resentful horse when re-teaching them what your leg means. (In a word, take no shit but be fair).
- Things will be messy and ugly before they get better. It's part of the training process. Believe in it and persist.
|This? This isn't feel ugly.|
- You ride your horse like an owner and you need to start riding her like a trainer. Owners get down and defeated about problems, trainers brainstorm and take the problem at face value and aren't afraid to go back to the basics to build things back up again. Don't be afraid to do just that.
- When you ride a young horse, you have no choice but to be a trainer. You can't get frustrated and you can't avoid the problems. Face them, learn from them, and do better.
- Sometimes when she does a down transition, you are expecting her to dump you and end up sitting too heavy/braced and she botches her transition. Try to be more in tune with her movements and let her carry you into the transition. Trust her a bit.
- Ride TO YOUR LETTERS. (This was during a diagonal line that I kept turning too early for, haha). Be disciplined in your figures.
I found Sven to be incredibly practical and kind when it came to the fact Annie is still very green and young. He didn't pull any punches, but didn't make us feel like we were worthless or didn't belong in the ring. He made us work, but made me understand that young horses are fickle things and that sometimes we can't be a pet owner, we have to be someone who takes no bullshit. Zero tolerance, as it were.
So yah. It was a tough lesson to learn, not physically, but mentally. It really made me sit back on my ass and feel a pinch of self-pity, haha. I try not to bring my whining to the blog, but this particular set of lessons and problem we are currently facing have not been very fun. And sometimes, you have to do a bit of whining to get past it.
|Wat are you doing inside rein, haha.|
All things considered, despite the mare being downright PISSED about the new arrangement, she did try, and was (in a way) less pissed on this day about all of it.
We did make progress... and that's all I can really ask for.
Plus, I have a pretty new saddle so... yay?