Saturday, March 12, 2011

Training Log: Lesson

Today was a lesson day.  I didn't have high expectations.  I've been fighting the flu for almost two weeks.  Other than one day when I didn't leave the couch, I haven't felt sick just dead tired.  Some days I can go gangbusters until noon but then I crash.  As a result, I had only ridden Jackson once since our last lesson although I did longe him another day as well.  The day that I rode him, it went well.  We had a little talk while I was tacking him up:

Me: I'll make you a deal.  I'll keep my legs quiet if you promise to go forward off my leg and not lean.

Jackson: Hmmm, not sure.  It's much easier when you do the work.

Me: Gayle suggested that I use spurs... I'd rather not but....  I told her I'd try this week without and see if you can do this without making my legs fall off. 

Jackson: Spurs!  There's no need to swear at me!  Ok, ok, I'll do my best.

And, he was very good that day.  I only rode for 20 minutes because that's all the energy I had but it was an excellent 20 minutes.  Prompt transitions, no camel imitations, good honest work. 

This morning, I woke up and could hardly open my eyes despite getting my full eight hours.  Brett was up and ready to go -- feed, load the trailer, etc.  He was already at the barn when I finally managed to drag myself out of bed.  Of course, the weather didn't help.  This is what I saw when I looked out the front door to the barn.

Did you notice that you can't see the barn?  You can hardly even see the arena!  Cold, damp, yechy fog. 

But then, a few hours later, I had the most amazing lesson on the most amazing horse.  My horse!  JACKSON!  He didn't resist - not even once.  Zero camel antics.  He lifted his back and stayed in the contact and motored around in a relaxed frame.  He even stretched long and low while keeping the contact.  He didn't fall in.  He didn't fall out.  He was straight, he was balanced, he was forward, he was responsive.  I had so much happy adrenaline that I never noticed how fatigued I was.  He was, truly, like a different horse.  The thing that brought tears to my eyes, is that he trusted the contact.  He didn't feel like he had to pop his head up and check things out.  It didn't matter when planes went overhead, or horses walked by, or Flash called.  He kept the contact, he stayed relaxed, he trusted me.

So, it was a great day.  Now I'm going to go make some soup for dinner and take a nap. 


  1. That sounds like a wonderful happy lesson! I'll bet he remembered the discussion about the spurs. :)

    Hope you feel better soon. Seems I've got the same tired thing going on. Actually took a long nap today which was a good thing.

  2. Those days make it all worth it - sounds like fun!

  3. So Happy for you that you had a great ride! Now if they all were like that....

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Jackson was indeed good. He looked like a totally different horse today. And you looked like a different rider. Your posture, especially on the right lead, was the best I've seen you have. By the way, Flash didn't call to him, he was too tired. It must have been another horse. The only time Jackson was bad today was when he broke my bridge I made. Maybe you should talk to him about that.

  5. No need for spurs after all ;) Hope you feel better soon.

  6. Wow - sounds amazing! I wonder if the time off was good for him? What a high. I'm due for one of those days I think :), after all the snow and now mud.
    I hope you feel better soon. I hate those bugs that hang on so long.

  7. Sorry you are not back to normal yet, but it sure didn't stop you and Jackson from having a great lesson.


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