Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lesson Recap

So despite some minor setbacks, I was able to have my second lesson with our new trainer, Heather, last Saturday. And Jen was able to come see Granite's (relatively) new digs. It was so windy and very cold, but I'm glad us three gals and Granite were able to grin and bear it and have a productive session.

Granite started off pretty cold and grumpy. Maybe hoping that if he was stiff and rotten enough, we would give up. No dice buddy. He was warmed up and supple after a few exercises. We did some turns on the forehand at a walk and some leg yielding to quarterline and then back to the rail. I experienced some frustration as trying to get Granite to move forward and not drop his shoulder. Heather and Jen both reassured me that there was some good motion in some leg yields and gave me some tips on keeping him from popping that shoulder.

We moved on to some trot work and really emphasizing the inner rein to outer leg connection. It's amazing that just thinking about that connection can help me to make it. Sometimes I'm looking to dramatically change what I do, but my body almost responds when I just think about it... We did lots of bending exercises and I think everyone there could agree that Granite's lateral work had improved since our last session! SCORE! This is why I only take one lesson a month, I need time to make the progress. As lots of fully-employed adult ammies with no lights and an indoor can attest, consistent work and progress are often slow to come by.

We moved on to working on our canter transition. Granite and I have a heck of a time getting our left lead canter so we did lots of bending circles to a leg yield to the rail, slide the outside leg back/ ask exercises. They worked.... but not as well as I would have hoped. Practice I guess.

Next, Heather set up a stack of poles and had be get in half seat and try to get out of Granite's way as we went back and forth over the poles at a trot and canter. Then we moved up to an actual cross rail with a ground pole before and after. The trot was sad. We lacked energy and impulsion, plowed over the jump and stopped. NOT PRETTY. The canter was better... but not by much. Granite and I were tired, so here's to hoping that we have something better to offer next time. I have some photos of, experience, but you'll understand why I have chosen to burn  keep them off the interwebs. I'd like to maintain some shred of dignity for my horse and mostly myself.

We did get ONE shot worth sharing:

Sunday it was wayyy too cold for me to ride, so G got the day off. I visited him Sunday and Monday I visited by because my TMJ decided to totally lock up my jaw, I was on some fun meds and decided not to take a chance on riding. Tuesday, I promised TK that I would save the date for my human valentine:

That was a good choice. Dozen Red Roses to the Office and a fabulous 
home cooked meal with not-so-cheap red wine :)

But last night I finally got to get Granite under tack again. 3 horses had made their way into our grass arena and I didn't want to waste the daylight getting them out. So, we rode around them, which was a good experience for the kid. Focusing was difficult for him and he was really more strong than usual. But we got a decent 30 minute work session in before we ran out of light. I spent some time working on his mane (braiding in a futile attempt to keep it all on the right side) and trimming up his tail. 

It is foretasted to rain today, but so far its just overcast and windy. I'm hoping to get a ride in today and tomorrow and Saturday (after our farrier appointment).

In a final tidbit of news, my parents are coming to visit this weekend. It's their first trip to our "newish" city and to our apartment and to this barn. I hope they tolerate being dragged out on Saturday to watch me ride. They have met Granite a handful of times, but they have never seen me ride him. They've been to visit once since he has been under saddle but he was injured. So, if things go as planned, I'd like for them to see the big guy do work :) And perhaps I can convince someone to take lots of photos to share with you later.

Cheers & Happy Friday-Eve! Boy do I ever need a weekend <3


  1. Oh! Your dad takes awesome pictures as I recall. Yay!

  2. More quantity over quality... but, I'll take it!

  3. Beautiful horse and beautiful flowers! Sounds like the lesson was overall positive, I'm sure you two will keep right on improving... just think of how far you've already come!