I know some of you think I am against this. That is false information. I am all for spending even more money of my horse/myself in regards to my horse in every aspect. However, I have zero tolerance for paying people for bad service. Money is tight, yo. Only the best get it.
Also Tractor Supply gets it. They just get all of it. I'm pretty sure I keep them afloat with the amount of fly spray and dog bones I buy from them. But that is not even remotely relevant to this post.
|not from today. no phone = no new media. hoping to remedy that this weekend.|
My instructor is a R judge (read Megan's post on dressage judge levels because she is more brilliant than I am). She's eighty years old, about five feet tall, and speaks with a British accent. She is, in a word, saucy, so here are my takeaways from our first "getting to know you" ride:
- This horse has no topline. He's just walking around, perfectly pleasant, in his own world. "Oh, I'm a horse. Being a horse is wonderful."
- I see he's wearing a Micklem bridle. Now there's nothing wrong with the design, it's quite alright, but there is one serious problem with them. Their leather is cheap trash. It doesn't affect the horse, but still.
- Stop dancing around with your elbows. Bring them back. Your hands and your forearms belong to the the horse. Your elbows and your shoulders belong to your back.
- Slow down. Slow the tempo. Much slower. Even slower than that. Slow him down again. He's just running off his feet.
- If you put your head on top of your shoulders, that will be a very elegant picture indeed.
- I don't really care about the canter. You either have a good canter or you don't. We're always looking to improve the horse's trot and walk. An elevated trot is going to make every other gait better.
- Don't ever buy a horse that someone has told you has had a lot of training if he still has a dip in his withers. He's going to be a very spooky horse. He's too busy spooking to listen to the rider and lift all the way up and through to his poll.
- Oh, my. You're a very good rider. (I feel the need to include this because it was followed shortly by...)
- Now don't let him pop his head up. Let's see if we can get him to going around not looking like a browsing animal. Oh, no. Just come back to sitting trot. That's no good. (This for the right lead canter which we've done approximately three times since he's been back in work.)
- When he softens and rounds up, don't reward him by giving away the contact. That's not rewarding. That's teaching him all he has to do is drop his nose for a second and go back to walking like a giraffe. Just follow with your hands and carry on.
- He uses his diaphragm very well. Not all horses do. Once he gains muscle, he's going to have a very easy time lifting his back.
- I don't like to pat my horses. I give them a scratch on the withers, otherwise you're losing contact.
- Forty five minutes of this four or five days a week is just what he needs. In three months, you should be in a very good spot.
- A good riding horse is one that's solid through Second Level. Likewise, a good event horse should be solid through Preliminary. It's alright to play around at these lower levels, but a well rounded horse should be aiming higher. Strive to get to those levels.
|that is no optical illusion. he really is the longest cookie monster you've ever seen.|
We didn't do too much. She was told right from the outset that Bobby is coming back off an injury and he's not fit. Since I've been walking for a good twenty minutes to start and then a few minutes of canter to warm up before we even start with real work, Bobby wasn't exactly a shining star. He takes a long time to warm up, and it was a little embarrassing that he went full on llama for most of the ride.
Still, I did get some good stuff out of her. She gave me homework (a necessity from anyone I ride with), and she found a way to compliment both myself and my horse while still critiquing. She's also in my price range for lessons, so I will be riding again with her next week. I doubt I'll be able to afford weekly lessons, but I'm hopeful this can be a semi-regular occurrence.