The tulips are bursting into bloom everywhere.
And the birds are busy building nests in the eaves of our front porch -- an area Camille and I refer to as the bird condos.
|You can't see them because it is dark, but this is condo row (shot through the window).|
We went down the mountain for a lesson with Gayle. It was 80F in Riverside. Thank goodness the arena at Gayle's barn is covered because my lesson was at high noon.
I explained to Gayle the funky hopping rearing thing Winston was doing when I asked him to canter. She said it is a form of sucking back and he needs to learn to be forward, in front of my leg, at canter just like he's learned at trot. I told her I understood and agreed but that I was scared to work on it at home without her. A few years ago, I wouldn't have admitted to the fear. I'm brutally honest now and I have no pride.
We started out working on taking the contact at walk. Winston was a bit resistant at first but he eventually accepted the contact and worked in a nice frame. This was a first for him at walk. We've gotten it at trot, but not walk yet.
|Not giving yet.|
His trot work came together quickly and nicely. There were high headed moments, for sure, but he came back to me quickly.
|One of the high headed moments|
Then it was time to, gulp, canter. Sure enough he sucked back and Gayle said "make him go." We had quite a bit of protesting: bucking and hopping and kicking out -- and then he settled into this huge forward canter. Around and around we went and it was a blast. We changed direction and he only protested half-heartedly before settling into a nice canter. Gayle said he is young and he is going to test me from time to time. I need to be consistent and patient and he will learn it isn't worth the trouble of protesting. I praised him with neck rubs (on the inside) and my voice as we flew around.
Brett was up next. I was busy with Winston and while I was able to watch some of the lesson, I didn't get any pictures. Which is a huge shame. They looked awesome. The best I've ever seen both of them. Flash was working through his body, round and strong. Brett was sitting tall and balanced. They made a beautiful picture. ...and they were exhausted when Gayle finished with them. (she's very nice, and very patient, but she isn't easy).
Here's the two tired ponies afterwards: Winston had his bath already but poor Flash had just had his tack removed and was sweaty. He got hosed off and then we headed home.