Tuesday, I took a lesson on Lucy -- squeezed in at lunch time, between meetings.
I was honest with Sandy about my concerns. I would like to show; not big triple rated shows, but small schooling shows. I love cantering and I need to feel confident with Lucy at canter; at home; by myself. I needed Lucy to settle and relax for me in my lesson. I needed to have fun.
Sandy said that most of the time Lucy is calm and showing isn't a problem. However, once in awhile she does have a bad day. Fair enough; we all have bad days.
Between Lucy and Sandy, I learned a lot in my lesson. Lucy is a great teacher. She rushes if I lean forward, even a tiny bit. If I sit straight and tall, she relaxes and is soft and fluid. We have trot nailed. She didn't rush once at trot. We did quite a few walk-trot transitions in the beginning to help her focus. Sandy reminded me to keep my elbows soft and my thumbs bent on top of the reins. Lucy and I had a wonderful connection as we floated around the arena.
We worked on canter as soon as she was focused. Again, as long as I sat straight she was relaxed. If I tipped forward -- at all -- she would start to rush. I sat back and she relaxed. Talk about instant feedback. Sandy had me follow the motion of the canter with my shoulders. That was a new one. I'm used to trying to follow with my hands and I'm an epic failure at getting the rhythm right. Moving my shoulders? Easy and, again, instant relaxation from Lucy. So, if I sit straight and tall, shoulders relaxed and following, elbows relaxed and heavy, and give her room with my hands we have a lovely canter. I praised her to death with my voice,wither scratches and neck rubs.
We did some leg yield and then Sandy asked if I wanted to work on haunches-in. I looked at my watch. Five more minutes, I said. I'm having too much fun to go back to work. So we did that and then some shoulder-in. Lucy glides and she does it well even if I don't set her up perfectly. She tries.
I reluctantly finished my lesson and went back to work.
And, today I bought Lucy.