May 6, 2011

May 4, 2011
This lesson was much improved from last week’s lesson! Go us! Sadly my really nice new Ariat paddock boots gave me really nice blisters last week, and I was blonde enough to wear them again this week… I think I hurt more than Nova did afterwards.

We started off on the circle again, working on just picking up contact and asking him to go forward into it. The walk was much improved over last week, and same with the trot! He only did about two pogo-trot strides before stepping forward into a much nicer forward trot. (He doesn’t often track up completely, so it’s something we push for on almost every lesson – but hey, to give the guy a break, he’s looooong.) We worked on the leg-yielding the hindquarters again, and he was more inclined to listen to me this time as well.

I was wondering how the canter would be today, and was pleasantly surprised that he was way better. Diane asked me to ask him to leg-yield and then ask him to canter immediately afterwards – this seemed to work well for us. That said, since I started asking him with my inside leg for the canter (versus the outside like Diane uses) our transitions have been better and more consistent. So our leg-yield to canter wasn’t quite like Diane is thinking. Whatever works though! I was able to ride him with contact this time without him sucking back – he wasn’t dropping down into it, but he wasn’t being a total idiot either, so we’ll take that for now.

Going to the right side (he bad side), he was super leany on my inside leg. Holy moly. Bring back to your memory, my nasty blisters… Ouch. Diane went out to truck and grabbed her spurs for me, and with those it still hurt pretty bad, but I was at least getting under Nova’s skin about moving his ribs over. I had to get a bit forceful with them at the start to get my point across, but he’s a smart cookie when he wants to be and decided that hurt and he should respect my leg. (I am going to see if I can get a chiro appointment for him, it definitely wouldn’t hurt him to get looked at again.) We worked to the right with the spurs on at both the trot and canter, and it went well. While I won’t be riding with spurs all the time (I don’t trust my legs 100%), I definitely will be purchasing a pair to use for times like this when I need that bit extra to get his respect. As we all know – he should be working harder than I am!

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