November 26, 2008

Amazing Lesson Last Saturday

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Last Saturday, Horsemasters sponsored a clinic at Rivendell Farm for rating for a Bronze or Silver Mounted and Unmounted tests (specific to Pony Club). Isis and I went to the clinic with Max (horse) and Ro (owner).

Isis loaded beautifully. She walked on without any trouble and stood next to Max in the trailer quietly. Isis and Max got along well. Isis even let Max eat out of her hay bag (first time that has happened!).

The lesson turned out to be just Ro and I so we did just flat work. Our instructored help get me to relax — which of course helped Isis relax. We worked on gathering the reins and then letting the horse stretch out and relax.

Isis didn’t trip once. She was relaxed and easy going the entire time. I was also able to get her attention more and keep her focused. I learned that when Isis drops her shoulder on the inside, if I sit up and pull my inside shoulder back, then Isis shifts her balance and weight. Simple solution.

Ro and Max did figure eights at the canter. His canter departs were exquisite. Ro was thrilled. He did so well.

While Ro was working on cantering, I took Isis to the opposite end of the ring. Ro and I were a little concerned that Isis and Max might be herd bound (and therefore a challenge) like Isis and Sierra were at Fossils Over Fences. We got lucky: Isis and Max turned out to be real buddies. Max knickered a little when Isis went to the opposite end of the ring, but nothing major. Isis didn’t even seem to notice.

Isis and I trotted figure eights (we’re going to tackle a canter in a private lesson) and worked on keeping her attention and focus on me. We succeeded at a walk and then moved up to a trot. She was excellent. Nice little bouncy trot, with her neck arched, and collected. gorgeous. And then Tish said let’s add some impulsion without adding speed. So I squeezed with my calves — and Isis did it! Her trot became rolling and rounded. Instead of feeling her push off so much I could feel her push *up*.

My instructor was amazed at how much better Isis and Max were doing.

You know what else we did? We rode the cross country course at a walk and went over a few of the obstacles. Isis was calm and happy, so was Max. I almost didn’t want to go down to the cross country course because of how difficult it was last time. I went any way and it was fine.

And then you know what she did to make the day absolutely perfect? Isis loaded on the trailer by herself!! That’s a huge improvement

When Isis and I were in the lesson with Max and Ro, Ro told me that Isis and I seem to work really well together and have a good relatinship. That’s my kid. =)

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