My lessons have been moved to Thursday evening for the summer, so that my trainer can occasionally ride her own horse (what a ludicrous notion!). So I trekked out to the barn and tacked up Vinnie after work. I lessoned with two other regulars, and we had a really nice time! Vinnie is still strong, but now that I know what to expect, I’m getting better about correcting him before things get out of hand.
We were able to put some courses together, and overall I was happy with our lesson. We had some really good moments, and some “Good job!” comments from the trainer. What I’m currently trying to focus on:
- Following Over Fences – Fences are just an obstacle in the way of a canter stride and I should treat them as such. In other words, don’t forget to continue to think on the landing!
- Give and Take – Use both reins (don’t forget that the outside rein is the brake!), but don’t just hold them; It has to be a give and take, even if it is a huge take. Every action has to have a reaction in my body and I need to remember to not get stiff when Vinnie is being a goober.
- Sit Lightly – I am continuing to work on my leg strength and even weight distribution in both legs, but I am now adding another element. I need to not only keep my weight in my legs, but also off my seat. I can sit, but I need to sit lightly and not rest my weight on Vinnie’s back.
Saturday Flat Ride
Sunday Flat Ride
I also tried to keep my seat light at both the trot and canter the entire ride… and was mildly successful. I just need to be stronger. After I finished, I did my last trot (trainer always wants us to finish with a trot), and Vinnie wasn’t super cooperative. Mostly just strong and only half-listening, going around with his head up. So that part is still a work in progress, I guess.