There is nothing better than a Sunday at the barn! I had the whole afternoon to spend with my girl. She was a little revved up when I arrived. There was a new pony working in the sand arena beside Lexi and Sugar’s paddock. The girls were pretty excited to see a new face and were running back and forth along the arena fence as the pony and her rider worked alongside.

I gave them a minute and entered the paddock as they settled a bit. Lexi was quiet as I slipped her halter on, but was stepping high and calling out to her new acquaintance as I led her to the barn. I worked with her on the way in to settle her excitement. I decided to do our groundwork before putting her in the cross ties to groom her out as she was still quite excited about it all. I retrieved my dressage whip and we headed for the grassy area. I walked her around a few times, working on both sides and getting her focused and paying attention. I had her step over with her back feet a few times on each side, then the same with her front as we were taught in our lesson. She was focused and very willing. I decided to lunge her before working on her sidepass to mix it up a bit for her. We worked on her transitions, walk trot halt on both sides. Ready to try the sidepass exercise. I set her up by the fence as a guideline and asked her if we could remember what to do. She looked at me with her soft eyes seemingly to say “no worries, we’ve got this”. I stepped towards her holding my whip in position and she readily stepped front and rear feet crossing over to the side, almost effortlessly. I get so proud of her. I’m acutely aware that I’m still learning as is she, but she’s such a good girl. I think she knows I’m really trying and gives me her best in return. I so appreciate her and her sweet willing disposition. She completed the exercise in both directions beautifully!

I took her into the barn. She was relaxed and calm and was ready to stand quietly in the cross ties. I groomed her out while chatting softly to her. We got her tail thoroughly combed out. It looks so nice since her bath! It even has a slight wave in it adding to the fullness. I love her long flowing tail. Her mane is growing out nicely too. When I got her last spring she had a patch she had worn off. It has finally grown out equal to the length of the rest and is looking so nice.

I tacked her up and we headed into the arena. It was pretty hot and windy outside this afternoon so we opted for the cool quiet indoor. We worked at both the walk and trot, practicing our transitions. I’m starting to keep my lower leg in a better position and learning to feel how to change and manoeuvre her movement. She is quite sensitive to the touch and as such very easy to move off the leg when I get it right. I was very excited with our progress today. I know right away with her when I’m getting it. She gives me such lovely movement. I’m getting to know her so much better. I’m learning the difference between her having an actual concern or if she’s testing me. As I’m improving I can ask a bit more of her and occasionally she will test a bit to see if she can get away with less. I was very pleased that I was able to ride through it this afternoon and persuade her to acquiesce without difficulty. Having raised two girls, I’ve had practice staying firm as a leader but positive and calm as we work things through together. For me it’s very important that we both enjoy the time we spend together. It was a very good ride and we both ended on a very positive happy note.

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