Wednesday 3/26: The “Get Down to Business, I Mean It” lesson for Prior (& pilot). The mare and I were at a point where, OK, sure she doesn’t have a ton of (or any really) formal training and sure I’m not riding her super consistently, but it’s been well long and often enough that she has a good enough grasp of basic concepts like, y’know, leg and rein that she doesn’t get to blow me off and do her own thing when she doesn’t feel like responding. I’m not intimidated by the “oh you put your inside leg on me, that means I get to run off with my head in the air right?” game and yeah, it is getting pretty old. So, I got a lot of reminders to freakin’ follow through with the Mrs Nice Lady requests already. It’s definitely a good exercise in mindfulness for me… I’m barely even conscious of the “oh I asked and nothing really happened, it must’ve been me asking wrong” process that goes on inside my head, is how engrained it is. I’m gonna invent a game called “take a shot every time Christy says ‘I see you asking, you are correct, make it happen.'” So yeah, catch phrase of the day is Aids Are Not Optional and oh hey if I keep insisting then she actually listens more and more easily.
Thursday 4/3: First lesson/ride on Derby post allll his bodywork and he felt great. Got him warmed up and on the aids in record time– C was like “doesn’t it make you feel more confident that if you can get Derby going like that, you know you are asking correctly?” Yes but but but I’m a very carefully self-programmed It’s Always My Fault-Bot; these things take time. We got some really nice canter to the left, like, 100%-feels-like-a-horse-not-a-household-appliance canter. Going right he still wanted to swap behind after a couple circles– fitness issue? Habit? Who knows, but it was a good opportunity to work on actually Doing Stuff with my seat at the canter. My default mode is more of a half-seat and let roll along ride, actually the only time we ever started working on dressagifying me/Pearl at the canter was that one lesson 6 months ago right before I inexplicably broke her, so haven’t had much chance to do that. It wasn’t perfect but it did have an impact and we ended when we were able to get a couple circles of no swapsies.