Blu and I have continued with our lessons and she remains in training board. Though I miss seeing her daily, I know it’s best this way until I get more lesson time in.
Blu has progressed by leaps and bounds! I’m certain that anyone experienced on the show circuit could take her to a show tomorrow and be in the ribbons in hunt seat classes. She is also very well mannered at the barn and is so pretty she has her own fan club 🙂
My riding is coming along as well. It has surprised me at how different it is to learn how to ride in the arena for show purposes as opposed to riding safely and effectively out in the yard and pastures. I really didn’t think the transition would be quite so difficult.
One of my problem areas is picking up the canter smoothly. In my earlier lessons I had a lot of bumpy trotting to endure before Blu would launch into a canter. Now the problem is keeping her in a nice canter without using my calf and heels, but using upper leg and butt instead. When I use my lower leg and heels Blu is sure to protest with a swish of the tail and a quick buck. It took us all a while to figure this out. One day when my daughter went for a day at the lesson barn without me, she and the trainer decided to do some troubleshooting and analyzing regarding the issue. My daughter knows exactly how I ride so she emulated my every move while she worked with Blu. It didn’t take the two of them long to have it figured out.
When we arrived at the barn for my next lesson the game plan was already planned out and laid before me. I was to ride in my trainers saddle and the stirrup length was adjusted longer. The saddle gave me closer contact and the stirrup position forced my butt deeper in the saddle and kept my heels out of her side. I was forewarned regarding the lesson, so I was all ready to start with my knees on.
Voila! We were off and cantering with much less bucking. I felt like I lost a little ground with the bridle as I was distracted by feeling at a loss for my stirrups, but I’m sure that will work out in time as well. I feel almost as if I’ve been given a new toy to play with!
I took the picture above while riding around our neighborhood last summer.