Saturday, January 28, 2017

Time for a Lesson

Last week Razz and I had our first lesson in forever. We hadn't lessoned since October. Yikes. 

That doesn't mean we haven't been working on proper riding. I'd had him in the ring every other day for a couple weeks and, surprisingly, been getting a few things correct on my own. For the lesson, I tacked my pony up in his new stuff. He received a figure 8 bridle and a new half pad for the holidays. The bridle is covered in silver clinchers and looks as if it was made for parades or other fancy events. And if you've ever ridden in a truck with air brakes, then you know what it feels like to ride in this half pad. It works like a riser pad but without the awful look of a riser. Vet recommended a riser to address my concerns about sitting deep in the canter on the old man's spine. Now it's like riding on a cloud. 

I have no media from the actual lesson. Riding instructor A said we looked nice even during our warm up. It certainly doesn't feel nice during warm up. My horse requires an extreme amount of leg which can compromise my position. Leg on while posting is not my forte. I need to do a serious amount of no stirrup work and get my lower leg stronger. Instructor A got on for about five minutes to get a feel for Razz and I felt better about things after seeing her lower leg working overtime just like mine. 

We worked for the next hour and a half. Razz was finding his stretchy trot rather easily on the long side. He anticipates, falls in and hollows in the corners and short side. More leg. More leg. Mold him into the turn and support thru the short side and back out the other turn. He responded well and on our walk break, while A was setting jumps, I couldn't help but think about what kind of horse I would have underneath me were I a well educated rider. If I knew exactly what to ask for and how to ask for it, and had been doing so over the four years I've owned him.

Moving on to the sticks, A initially turned one of my 2' verticals into the tiniest crossrail the standards would allow. We trotted the crossrail several times. I know these excersices are good but damn I hate them. The jumping effort is so small, almost non existant, and I have trouble finding the correct position over that tiny, quick effort. I basically just go into two point and my hands follow with an appropriate release (which isn't much). Then A threw in a one stride to a tiny vertical. My super lazy horse gets hot once the jumping commences and we're just trying to make him slow down and think with these tiny jumps. We worked on this, raising the poles occasionally. The lesson finished with her turning me loose to jump anything in the ring. I had five jumps set up in total- a couple more random two foot verticals, some barrels laid over on their side, and a Swedish triple bar that was 2'3". I also made sure to put our flying changes on display. Instructor A can't belive he has the changes installed. Back when he was a lesson horse his changes weren't that great and many times he just didn't bother to change at all. Before I got him two other people tried Razz out (to buy) and refused him solely because of the issue with changes. Even though I am getting the changes from him consistently, about 20% of the time he will cross fire a stride or two. Instructor A thinks he's just so long, conformation-wise, that it takes a moment for him to get the front and hind in sync. Sometimes this same issue creeps in to the trot and canter and messes with our tempo. But that's ok. It teaches me to be a better rider. And I suppose in a way it also reaffirms why we need to work on those tiny fucking crossrails. 

The lesson lasted for an hour and a half. Pretty certain I was the most tired I'd ever been after a lesson, and so was Razz. We took plenty of walk breaks. But I used more consistent leg on him than I ever have before and it kicked my ass. 

I gave Razz two days off after that ass kickin', and our next ride was very low key in the bareback pad. He spooked twice during that ride. Both times at the sound of nutrea rats scurrying and jumping into the stream beside us. I also spotted a huge pileated woodpecker and snapped a pic of the resident red tail hawk. 

super crappy pic, sorry folks
This hawk has been living around the barn since summer and I see him every time I go. Literally every time I go to the barn. He hangs out really close to people with no problem. He has swooped low over the arena a few times while I was in there riding. I have watched him dive at a retention pond but come up empty handed. Hubby tried to tell me red tailed hawks don't hunt over water but I know what I saw. The mockingbirds like to give the poor hawk a hard time and dive bomb him every chance they get. Hawk doesn't care one bit though. He doesn't even acknowledge their presence.

The weekend holds plans for a Croatan ride and more schooling. The weather is a little chilly but no rain. Next week I have plans to ride my first warmblood ever, and I'm super excited for the opportunity. 

1 comment:

  1. I want a cool air ride pad! I feel you on having to use a huge amount of leg that compromises my position (on Henry). My legs are currently screaming after our lesson this AM haha