Last week, I managed to get myself into two lessons. The first one on Tuesday was a bit of a continuation of the lesson I had the previous week in the clinic, where May was really rideable and great. She came out, and did the thing. I worked on being softer and quieter, so it wasn’t perfect. However, it felt like things were really clicking.
Fun little mare gave me some changes and was, overall, really rideable. Me, being the eternal optimist I am, floated the idea of skipping the original plan of pro rides, “since she’s been so rideable, I think I just need lessons to learn how to ride her now.” Chloe agreed, and I had another lesson on Saturday.
Then, on Saturday, May decided that listening to me was the worst idea I have ever had. She warmed up GREAT. Let’s put 6 strides in a four line, then 5 strides, then 4 strides, then 5 strides. I could open and close her stride just by moving my body a bit, and she stayed super soft on the back end. All wonderful.
The jumps went up somewhere between BN and Novice height. Then we went to jump our first course… I cantered up to the little red vertical, saw a longish spot, asked her to move up… and she didn’t. Asked her to take the long-ish spot, and she JAMMED in an extra step and took down the whole fence, landing like a lump on the other side. Cool horse.
She’s done this to me before. Where she’s not lit up, so she gets kind of dead. I kicked her forward in front of my leg again, re-presented, and she kind of did the same. Uh ok. A tap of the crop… and now we decide that we need to run away. By the end, we managed to almost kind of put together a course. We ping ponged between pushing her forward in front of my leg and then correcting for her getting stiff and running. By the end, I think I got a couple of really good lines out of her.
So we called it a day… For now, just trying to remember that this is still progress. After all, training horses is not a linear process. And training an opinionated, half draft mare is definitely not a linear process. We have another lesson today (likely on the flat) to reestablish all those buttons. Oh… and we put those pro rides back on her calendar.