Vanessa's mother asked us if Vanessa could take a lesson Friday afternoon in our dressage court. Of course we said yes. I managed to sneak out of work early and get home in time to watch. I have the name of a trainer I wanted to use in the Sacramento area - she came highly recommended by both of the trainers we used in Southern California. The trouble is, that trainer is located over an hour away from us. Good for the occasional clinic but not for regular work. So, I've been on the lookout for someone local.
Vanessa came over for her lesson with her mother's Arabian, Calibre. He was amped up in a way that was true to his breed. (and I love Arabians). Katy, the trainer, worked with them in a way that was sensitive to Vanessa's confidence (she is a very confident girl; she is also only eleven) and to Calibre's energy. After the lesson, I asked Katy if she would come back next weekend and give me a lesson. Brett would like to take one as well but he is having a medical procedure on Friday that requires he not leave the house all weekend.
When Brett and I rode later in the morning, I asked him to lead the way into the arena in case Winston got silly on me. We entered the dressage court with no problem whatsoever. I found myself recalling the instructions Katy gave Vanessa. I sat deep, kept my eyes up and used transitions to keep Winston calm and focused. Winston chewed softly on the bit and only worried one time when he thought Mufasa was leaving. I was very pleased with the work and also very pleased with how I was riding -- I've lost some of my confidence as a result of the abrupt departures from Winston's back over the past year. When Winston rushed, I sat deep and straight. Winston instantly relaxed and slowed. So, I'm already happy with Katy as a trainer and I haven't even had a lesson with her yet. I rode Winston back to the trailer and hopped off. His mouth was covered in thick foam -- a sign that he was relaxed, thinking and connecting with me.
Brett and I spent the afternoon in the barn. I planted bulbs in the wine barrels by the barn aisle entry. Brett unpacked boxes.
The horses slept.
The dogs slept.
We started putting together the tack room.
And the sun set on another beautiful fall day in Pleasant Valley.