It was great! The lesson that is!
Heather, our new trainer, doesn't take herself too seriously, which I totally love. She loves the Redskins (like has a tattoo with the Redskins' "R"). So that right there made me like her. She inspected Granite pretty good, noting his neatly kept mane, his cow-hocks, and correcting his saddle placement a little to adjust for his massive shoulders. She noted his impending growth spurt (he suddenly dropped weight and both she and my farrier identified the same signs of a growth spurt coming on).
We did a brief re-cap of my experience and Granite's. I haven't shown since 2004. From 2000-2004 I basically showed Quarter Horse Circuit/Stuff. Previously I rode youth hunters and low level dressage. G had a little over a month of ground training and then about 45 days of professional training when he turned 3. Its been just me (with some guidance from Jen) for the last two years. We would love to grow up to be Hunters but are totally open to changing our plans to suit horse and rider.
She was impressed with G. She's worked with some of his "Graf Genius" line and enjoys them although she says they have reputations for their tempers. I think this is where I thank Granite's Appendix father for giving him the most laid-back personality ever.
Heather gave us some exercises to do (lots of them are very similar to things Jen had us doing-- so that makes me believe in Heather's philosophy). She got on him, and OMG he looked AMAZING! She thinks he can certainly be a A/O Hunter! I always doubt he and I until someone like Jen or Heather tells me otherwise. All in All, I am looking forward to working with her and she seems excited to work with us! Right now, I'll only do one lesson a month (I'm only riding on weekends, so I need time to improve between lessons anyway).
As if a great lesson weren't enough to make it a great weekend. I spent the night at Eva's Saturday night and Sunday we went riding at her barn. We went on Reno's first trail and he was SO FREAKIN GOOD. I got to ride the gelding she has had since we first met when we were 11 years old and she has just recently reclaimed from her family. I haven't ridden him since the late 90s I think and It was so much fun!
Vez and Ren getting ready for the trail
(I had to ride Vez sans sturrips, but at least we found a spare saddle)
After that, I headed back to my (new) town and went to ride my pony. My tall boots fit again (did I mention that in July they refused to zip-- I was training for that 1/2 marathon and the muscle had gotten too big!) and didn't hurt me much at all (apparently when i stop running my calves slim back down despite my weight gain), so I wore them to ride! My barn owner and I went on a trail for about an hour! G crossed a creek. We had done this once before but he was quivering and I had to lead him across. I didn't have to lead him across this time, good thing too, since I was in my tall boots! And there was a current in the creek to boot. He spooked a couple times through the trail, but always conquered it. Such a good man! I LOVED that G went from being well behaved and trying his heart out in his lesson to listening and trusting me on a legit trail ride (over logs, under limbs, by old broken down barns, across streams).
This weekend was really a success! Hopefully more progress to be made during this long weekend (during which I hope to get 3 whole rides in).