I had a lesson with Cheryl this morning and it started off with a longe lesson on Savanah again, to do exercises and work on my position. It was so fun! I hate exercising, but exercising on horses is fun stuff. I think it's really helping me with keeping my legs back more. I also need to get physically stronger, in order to have better control and coordination, and it helps with that.One of the exercises I did is leaning forward and holding, then leaning backward and holding, while not moving my legs and keeping my back straight. It's great for core strength and getting a feel for keeping your legs in the correct position.
After my longe lesson I got on Rogo to finish my lesson. I can't believe my stirrups are down a notch and feel exactly like they did before, except my legs feel in a better position.
Rogo was in a rather challenging mood today. Not sure why, but he was a little cranky when we started, after two days off. There were high winds (gusting over 100 km / hr), making a huge racket, but he doesn't mind noise so I don't think that was it. He gave his ears a flicker once at the height of a gust, so he was good in that regard. (While on the topic of wind I must note that Savanah was good as gold and she can be spooky in the wind, although normally bomb proof.)
Because Rogo wasn't too interested in going forward in the trot, at Cheryl's suggestion rather than fight with him about it, I didn't do my usual bending exercises. We went large and got some activity by doing walk trot transitions, then tried some trot halt trot transitions which I've only done once, a couple of months ago. He did really well! Almost perfect halt from trot on the first try (left hind back a bit as usual) but no walk steps and straight as an arrow, and actually trotted off the second time we tried it, so we got a good result on a day that could have gone badly. On my own I probably would have persevered with trying for bending exercises and we both would have been frustrated. I know I can't let him dictate the lesson, but I also think it was a good call today. As an aside, I can't believe it, but I forgot already to try the technique I learned from the Stephan Peters clinic video of holding my legs on a little longer for the trot aid (video is in my last post). I'll remember when I go back tomorrow for sure.
Canter work went well. All signs of resistance disappeared instantly and he was forward and responsive. I wonder if it has anything to do with me loving to canter? It's not that I don't like trotting, but I love cantering. Cheryl mentioned that my up transition in canter is much better on Savanah than Rogo. Apparently I lean back on Rogo. Maybe I feel I'm pushing him forward?We're going to have a lesson on Sat. and review goals and assign 'scores'. It will be interesting to see where we are, because it's a year ago that I brought him back to work after three months off (I had an injury) and he had really only walked and trotted around on a long rein before that, so it was pretty much starting from scratch.
A final note - I feel like the house is about to blow down as I sit here writing. I don't remember it being this bad before, even when we had a hurricane. I know it isn't really going to blow down, but it's shaking when the gusts hit and the power is going on and off. The rain hits the sky light over my head like knives. Not comfortable.
ps - this was written yesterday. We lost power just then and I'm just posting now. People lost parts of their roofs, cover-all riding arenas blew down, trees came down, etc.