Saturday morning we had lessons with Gayle. Although I wasn't able to produce her minimum requirement of four riders, she still came up. I paid her extra for gas -- she is coming from 60 miles away -- and we called it good.
Brett was first up since he had to leave immediately following his lesson to meet his daughter in Utah where he will collect the three grandkids who live in Colorado. He will spend the night in Utah, and drive back tomorrow with them. They will spend a week here with us. We are very excited.
Brett and Flash started out a bit sluggish. Flash had been sound asleep at the tie rail while Brett tacked him up. As soon as they went into the arena, Gayle put them to work. No shuffling trot allowed; Flash had to be forward and he had to carry himself. The change was dramatic.
Next up was Winston. I filled Gayle in on how longeing had been going and about the sporadic schedule for working with him. My foot STILL can't handle me walking around or sitting with it down for more than an hour a day without hurting. As a result, if I have to go into the office or we have friends up to visit or some other activity I don't work Winston. It had been over a week since the last time he was longed.
He started out behind the leg and argumentative.
Gayle kept a soft, but steady, contact and insisted that he be forward. He had to respond to her leg immediately, he had to push with his hind, and he had to be honest.
He got the message and eventually gave up the five year old fighting. They were flying around the arena. I am tasked with getting him that forward on the longe and getting him prompt with transitions from the ground. Then, when I am finally able to get back on, we will have established the obedience piece.
The finished up a bit early, due to Winston's lack of fitness, so Gayle got a break while we waited for Jeanine to arrive with Caliber. Passage was working on her beauty rest.
Last month, Jeanine worked on Caliber's spooking and how to deal with his hot Arabian blood. They picked right up where they left off last time. She started out a bit tentative, waiting for Caliber to spook I think, and Gayle put her focus on getting Caliber forward and listening. They looked awesome. The change was spectacular. Caliber went from very high headed, sluggish, foot dragging and slow to accepting the bit, to tracking way under, and listening. Caliber did spook once but she ignored it and kept on working. He didn't do it again.
I'm hoping next month I'll be taking a lesson in the saddle instead of watching but it was really fun to see Winston flying around with Gayle. And, I have homework. Of course.