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Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of getting a couple lessons from a tan Ryan. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, Gram and I were having issues as a result of my changing the bits. When I entered the ring for my first lesson, I explained to Ryan our current situation. I told him Gram was going really good, so I decided it was time to change bits... In true Ryan form, he responded with, "Well, if she was going good, why did you change bits?" My response, "Because I am not smart!" As soon as he said it I thought to myself, he is so right... why did I mess with a good thing? I guess I learned my lesson. Ryan was able to diagnose the problem almost immediately. When I would half halt and Gram would run through, I would sit in more, and really try to get her to listen, in doing so, I guess I was holding the more deliberate half halt for about a second too long. She would get mad, and fight it, then I would get mad and it would turn into this downward spiral. As soon as Ryan pointed this out, I released, and she was a happy mare. So about 30 minutes into our first 45 minute lesson, she decided she was no longer mad at me.

Before the fight was up, we did have a major melt down preparing for a canter depart. We changed directions worked on something else and came back to the canter to the right and things were much better. So point number two from Ryan, don't forget that changing the subject is also an option.

Having that eye on the ground is so important to progress. I am not a green rider, but it is like you get into a way of doing things and don't realize. I cannot tell you how many times I have told people in lessons to not hold a half halt so long. Granted, I am no longer giving lessons, but I should know better! It is kind of frustrating really. I guess the whole intent of this blog is for me to document things like this, so that while I am on my own, I don't forget. If Gram gets snippy again, this will be the first thing I think about.

On Sunday, we picked right off where our lesson left off, so we were able to accomplish a bit more. The only problem we had was near the end in the half pass work, where she tightened her back and ran a bit. We were able to work through things and end on a high note. We need to continue to strengthen in our collection, our transitions are much better, but we are still rather weak in the canter to the right.

This week will be a short week as I have to travel for work on Thursday, plus it is scheduled to be extremely cold later in the week.

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