This week was a learning process. Out of the blue Lexi seemed like a different horse to ride. What was working up until now seemed to suddenly not be working for her. She suddenly was quite a bit more forward and less responsive to my leg. My natural response was to apply more pressure to get a response. That was not working for her. Thankfully, she let me know and I listened. Then it was a process of trying to figure out what had changed and how to successfully work with my “new” ride. She had her teeth done on the Monday, perhaps having her mouth more comfortable with the bit was changing her response. It was about ten degrees cooler than it had been. The change in weather might have something to do with it. The grass has been coming in and she’s had opportunity to graze on fresh grass instead of just hay, that might have put some extra spring in her step. All of the above could be contributing factors to the change. It wasn’t a bad change, in fact I prefer a horse who’s a bit forward, the key is to managing her in a way that will work for her so we are working as a team. After our less than successful session on Thursday, Tessa and I discussed all of these factors and came up with a plan to proceed on a positive foot.
When I arrived on Saturday, Tessa dug out her lunge line and proceeded to teach me how to lunge her. I watched her work with Lexi while she explained exactly what she was doing. Then it was my turn. I put the lunge line in one hand, the whip in the other, formed a triangle with my horse and proceeded to lunge her. Lexi was awesome! She knew exactly what to do. She followed voice commands, walk, trot, canter. She stayed on her circle and was the model horse. I was happy to learn to have one more tool in my belt to utilize. I really feel a sense of responsibility to learn as much as I can to be the best “Horse Mom” to my girl that I can. She’s just such a lovely horse.
After a short lunge session to get her softened and focused, I decided to ride. We started slow, working at the walk. I stayed soft on the reins and with my leg. We made some progress that ride. She started to get into frame and we had no fight or struggle, but instead were working as a team. I was very encouraged with our positive session and felt I learned to better understand the direction she now needs.
Tuesday I arrived for my lesson. I was a bit anxious to see how we did. Saturday had been positive, but I hoped to go forward from there today. Again we started working at the walk. I stayed very soft. She quite quickly got into frame and was responsive to the soft aids. We tried the trot, not worrying too much about her frame at the trot. Tessa had me bring her into a circle having her circle a little smaller as we went around. Winding our way in tighter and winding our way back out. She just naturally got into frame and responded beautifully. We tried the same exercise at canter. She did just beautifully. I was so relieved to see us effectively working together as a team, both of us having a very positive fun learning experience. My goal is for both of us to learn and progress but above all for us both to really have fun doing it. Tuesday, thanks to our awesome coach Tessa, we accomplished just that.