I had my second Dressage Lesson on Sunday morning. It went well and I felt less awkward as a whole. I was able to circle much better and I even learned how to properly collect a dressage horse. I need more practice, but I get the gist of it. Something about using my seat and legs to get the horse to propel from behind and drive the head set...hmmm...it didn't quite work that way for me, so I did sneak in a few half halts and a wee bit of see sawing...shhhhhhhh. There's more to it than that, but I'm still learning; I'm a very green bean with this Dressage business.
Later in the day, I drove all the way out to J's barn. There I met up with two young ladies, Sarah and Kristi. Sarah is an excellent and brave little rider. She's a few years younger than me with the similar riding abilities, yet she has the confidence I sorely lack. Kristi, who is my age, claims that she's been showing and riding horses her entire life, yet to see her with a horse tells a different story.
When I arrived at the barn, Sarah was already out in the indoor arena with a very naughty SID *thankfully it was her and not me* and I was just heading out with a very fat and crabby Gypsy when Kristi pulled up. Kristi is a newbie at J's barn, and she and I had made plans to meet up for some riding time. I wanted to see what her abilities were before she was allowed to start working horses on her own.
Gypsy, getting ready to go
Kristi is very very sweet, but she just doesn't seem to know what she's doing with horses.
Clue #1: She couldn't quite figure out how to put Snippy's *the 32 year old QH she rode* halter on. I let that slide, it had been about 4 years since she had last ridden, but still, is this something you ever forget if you've owned and even shown horses???
Clue #2: She didn't clip the cross ties on correctly.
Clue #3: she put the saddle pad on upside down and waaaayyy too far back (she looked somewhat miffed when I fixed it).
Clue #4: She tried putting the bridle on while standing in front of the horse, while he was still in cross ties.
Clue #5: after she was shown how to stand to put the bridle on,and the horse was released from the cross ties and halter, she put the bridle on; only poor Snippy's left ear was caught between the brow band and the cheek strap...hmmmm...
With all of those clues, I decided that Snippy, even though he's an old man, needed to be lunged just a bit before Kristi got on. She gufawed that idea, but one can never be too cautious. Once we were in the arena and Snippy had been lunged, Kristi mounted. She sat just like a stock seat rider, with her right arm hanging straight down (even though Snippy had Rommel reins on), she knew the proper stance, but when it came to actually controlling the horse - pssshhh, all horsemanship went out the window. Though she knew the proper aids, she allowed Snippy to dictate his speed and tailgate the crap out of a VERY crabby Gypsy, despite my several warnings. I spent most of my time avoiding Snippy and Kristi by circling in the center. I should have known better, but I knew Snippy would be fine, he's used to inexperienced riders :(.
Snippy after his workout
The thing that bothers me is that Kristi didn't want to hear my suggestions. I don't know if she was embarrassed to admit that she wasn't very familiar with horses, or if she really thought she was. To me, it's a safety issue. What if I had believed her and put her on a horse like SID, who rears when he's frustrated? Sheesh - humbleness really goes a long way with horses, I don't care if she's a newbie, just don't lie about it....GRUMBLE GRUMBLE GRUMBLE.
My ride on Gypsy was great though, she was super willing and smooth. She is now able to go at a nice jog and speed it up to a ground covering trot on que. I had Sarah hop up on her when I was through, and she got Gypsy into her first COLLECTED and SLOW canter. I couldn't believe my eyes, it was amazing. I love that Sarah!!! With her confidence and sweet, calm personality, she will do alot of good at J's barn. I really hope she sticks around.
Well, that's it for this rambling post...until next time, ciao!!
Gypsy and I after our ride