Monday, March 14, 2011

Lessons and an Anniversary

Friday we continued our little tradition of going out to the barn and having Robin give me a lesson.  This time things were a bit crowded, though.  Ruby, a 13 year old girl who's been at the barn quite a few years, was also getting a lesson from another border.  Ruby is definitely a better rider than me, but still, I was a tad nervous to have all the extra stuff happening around us.

Before the other lesson started Bear and I were able to get in and do some groundwork.  We're getting better and better.  When he lags or gets sluggish now I've got a lot more things to demand of him.  And on Friday I really had to get on his case to back out of my space.  At one point I hit him a little bit (and I mean little, cuz he's a huge horse) and he backed up like I'd never seen.

Then he didn't want to come back to me.  So we did more backs and circles and he was really paying attention to the whole time.  After a very short while he was doing everything I asked, including coming to me.

When I hopped on we had the arena to ourselves and just did some big loops and a few small patterns to warm up.  Then Ruby and Ginger (her horse) came in.  Since things were a little busier Robin didn't really tell me to do a whole lot of specific things.  So I just paid attention to where everyone was at and fit in the exercises that Bear and I know.

If you look closely you can see that Bear is actually a little bit trimmer than he was a few weeks ago.
It all worked out really well.  I was nervous at times, as Ruby and Ginger were doing a lot of loping and even a little jumping (I should also say we don't have a very large arena).  At one point Ginger hit the jump pretty hard and Bear jumped a bit.  In retrospect it was pretty funny, but at the time, not so much.  In reality Bear was really good the whole time and he was doing an excellent job paying attention to me.

Ruby and Ginger, just barely clearing that rail
Today is Robin and my 2nd year anniversary.  So I took the afternoon off work (easy, as it's spring break) and we went to the barn.  Robin had a good bareback ride on Steen while Bear and I continued to work on groundwork.  He really responded to some quick disengages followed by some big backs.  It was fun.  For me.

But all the work is really helping me be more in charge and authoritative.  All important things as Bear is kind of in charge a lot.  After today's ride we watched him cleverly move the head mare away from a prime eating spot.  So the more he can pay attention to me, the better.  Today we continued to test that out as Gay and Doc joined us in the arena.  I'd never been in our arena with three riders before.
It was a little crowded, but all in all it worked out just fine.  Good practice for both Bear and I.  Well, mostly for me.

I'm always sure to give him lots of "Good Boy's"

No comments:

Post a Comment