Friday, February 11, 2011

A Walking Lesson

We're trying to have Friday be the day that Robin gives me a lesson.  So today was the second lesson (last Friday I took advantage of good snow to go skiing and we had the lesson on Sunday).

When I went to get Bear out of the pasture he was not eating.  This might be a first.  He had his butt up the bale.  Robin thinks he might have been holding his spot so no other horses could get in there.

But he was willing to be haltered and brought inside.  And he stood wonderfully.  The ground work went really well, too.  Leading, backing, and flexing were all better than they were last week.  Bear seems to really be enjoying going to work again.

Bear, flexing like he means it.

 The lesson was going to focus on more intricate stuff at the walk, so I climbed on bareback.

Bear looking sturdy, before any potential discomfort set in.
This worked for a while, but neither Bear nor I were very comfortable.  Since I haven't been riding a lot lately I was not as relaxed as I could have been.  And Bear was moving around very quick and energetically (at first I was excited about his fast walking!).  It is possible my sharp butt bones dig into his back and make him a little uncomfortable.  We'll have to keep testing this theory out, though.

With a saddle on we both felt more comfortable.  Robin put us through some tight circle work (which calmed us both down), and then had us work on making the walk very slow and controlled and switching to fast, high energy walking.  This was very hard for us.  In the beginning I kind of wanted to stop because it was going so bad.  She told me to be consistent and persevere.  And she was right; I got more consistent and Bear got a lot better at responding.  He is a rather smart horse and really has no trouble picking up on things like this.  So I need to keep that in mind.

After our lesson Bear and I hung out and did some more grooming while Robin rode Steen.  He was great for her.  But I wasn't.  Not only could I give her no pointers, I couldn't even take a single picture.  So all we've got from today are shots of Bear and I.  I'll have to work on that next time.

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