When you move me everything is groovy. Clinic Number 2
Trainer dude decided to do another clinic at the barn this past Sunday.
On Wednesday I had asked him if I could ride one of his horses and he had replied that we could work something out. Saturday rolled around and he pulled up at the barn, just dropping by and we talked for a short bit, he said I could ride one of his so long as I rode Poco for a little bit at some point. In short he saw through my ploy to not ride her during this clinic. :lol
So Sunday rolled around, I am at the barn bright and early with everyone else (6am) helping get barn chores done in time for the start of the clinic which is at 8am, as well as getting our horses ready. Trainer Dude shows up and he told me Poco first then his horse, so I grab her and go to give her a brief longing to help loosen her up, walk one way, then the other, trot a couple laps, call it done basically. And I go and tack her up.
I was the second one out at the arena and I took the opportunity to ride her around bridle-less with just a neck line. I figured it would give us a chance to just start off and be relaxed and chill before putting her bridle on. We did this for a few minutes around the arena which had just been enlarge (was 150x200 its not 180x250) before going back to the front and putting her bridle on. We ride around like that for a few minutes, keeping an eye on my hands and such before he calls everyone to line up. Well I go to get Poco in and and she proceeds to blow past the line and refused to stop. So yep you guess it, I got to be the person who was called on for everything. And first things we did were circles
Poco was not horrible but she wasn't good either, our circle was more of a squared oval and our stops left a lot to be desired. Was told to stop got my critique then went again, it was better, I started using my leg more when before I wasn't using it at all and our circle was more oval than anything else but at least there were not any corners that time around. My "demonstration" was over and he went on to talk about bending and the arc of the horse and how you want the horse to bend and be supple. And then he showed us counter bending as well and then told us to go try and practice a counter bend at the walk and trot.
Well you guessed it, not one got a counter bend, and everyone wound up practicing regular circles. Poco was less than thrilled Starting off we were doing the same thing as before, the squared oval, then i figured out why we were doing that, I wasn't maintaining my inside rein where it needed to be, I would take up slack to turn then let go thinking she was going to cut in so she would straighten and so on, Trainer Dude had been getting after me for it, but it hadn't really sunk in, once I got that we started getting a semblance of a circle and in the end we got an ok trot without too much pissy ears and death glares, but she started bracing against it as well and before I worked that out he called that session to start seeing where people were at. before it came to my turn he looked at me and said "Would you like to ride Red?" I said yep and was out of the saddle and the arena before he could take that question back. :lol
Red is the horse I rode during our lesson at his place once before, there had been a lot of yelling and what are you doing, and leg leg leg, going on and honestly he saw me coming a mile away. But I wanted to try him again, I wanted to say that I had been improving but with Poco its so hard to tell for me.
We went and got him geared up then headed back to the arena and I proceeded to work on my stirrups, all I have to say is, man I am short. I had to get off after my initial adjustment to shorten them as far as they would go, and once I did I couldn't use those fender keepers, they just wouldn't fit anymore because the excess thin part was gone. But I get it done and hop (more like climb) into the saddle. and sit down to watch, he is alternating between trotting and loping in a circle and getting them to bend the horse and get them off the bit as well as roll backs. The current person was having trouble with being too quick with their hands on roll backs and it was coming out messy and his horse just did roll backs quickly. He looks at me when he is done with the current person and goes, "your up."
So I go over and get my reins settles and off we go, a quick trot around and he instructs me, "left rein left rein, get his nose back in, there ya go now stop and roll back nice and easy and lope off." Now the last time I rode him when he told me to roll back and lope off, our roll back was more or less a very small circle a couple (to a few) strides of the trot before loping off. But I sit back, used my ourside rein as a guide, inside leg to push him over and we proceeded to do just that rolled back nice and easy, another push with my now outside leg and we lopped off simple as that. Trainer Dude stays fairly quiet minus the instructions on what to do, and when we finally stopped he clapped said "YES! That is the best I have ever seen you ride, GREAT JOB!"
We cycle through people again and then we work on long work, trotting down the fence line, first in a slow jog (I think he called it a pig trot? pig jog?) then a working trot, then lope off, come down the center and stop. Our goal was to keep the horse supple and bent slightly towards the inside while staying on the rail. It took me a couple tries but I got it finally and then our stops were fun. I didn't get Red to slide, but I got him to scoot :lol
Then it was lunch break.
Once lunch was over we headed on back. This time we were going to work on turns and spins. He is working with the BO's horse on her spins and I'm watching them I'm thinking "I bet Red spins..." so I look at what he is doing, try to match his hands and we slowly start going in a circle. A turtle could have gone faster. :lol Well Trainer Dude saw me and he stopped and he went "Ok right rein out to guide, left rein against the neck, left leg, bump bump bump" And we started going at a faster turn, we went about two cycles, then did the other way and I went "woot I spun!" We continue to practice our bending, turned, roll backs and stops. At one point Trainer Dude was working something out with someone and everyone was free to try what they wanted, so I decided to try what someone else had done, which was work a circle in the center of the arena without a fence to guide half the circle. So we get loping along and I stop and well the stopped sucked and I just hear "what was that? sit the stop and mean it, try again" so we roll back and lope off, got reminded to use my outside leg and we get going better, made our circle a bit larger, stopped, rolled back, loped off, around we went a couple more times, and one one pass he says "You have come a long way" I said "thanks!" as we keep on, finish that circle stop and he claps again and said "Bask in glory! You've done damned well, feel that on your shoulders? Its called success!" I looked at the ground at the imprint of a... Circle. Not an oval but an honest circle.
The rest of the ride time was working on what he had us doing, and I spent a lot of time going "man I want this horse." He wasnt a dead head at all, and he certainly wasn't a robot either, he told on me if I did wrong in a heart beat but at the end when he was tired and cranky? He didn't have a melt down he just did the opposite of what I asked. Until Trainer Dude said "Threaten to smack him with those reins" and he straightened up until I decided we were done (two more circles). But it was nice riding him, I felt fine, its like everything just meshed with what Trainer Dude has been going on in lessons about. Everything was just well groovy. No anxiety or doubts, nothing. And I got to see and feel that I have improved a lot from when I first rode him.
Turns out Red is for sale, but Trainer Dude and I believe he would be out of my price range (Trainer Dude doesn't own him like I originally thought) So he told me that When I start shopping this Spring, Find something with a good mind, and a solid, walk, trot, and lope and he will work out the rest for/with me. and that I am welcome to come ride Red over the winter while he has him, just give him a call to let him know.
I might have pictures later as some people were taking them, but none at the moment.
Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today? I am pro-Slaughter