I have not had a riding lesson in almost 3 years...until today. I went to a clinic and rode and it was wonderful! The trainer is a very positive person. Quick to point out what you are doing right and helpful with what you need to do to fix any problems. It was a very non-threatening environment. It was probably helpful that 3 of the other riders had come from my barn and I had met 3 more riders previously. Even so, I opted to make darn certain I'd keep the nerves at bay and took a shot of Pendleton about 30 minutes before my ride. A very dear friend boards at the barn where the clinic was held, and she took video for me. I plan to go back again and again and again :)
We worked on getting Boo to relax and not fall in over his left shoulder on circles. I didn't even realize he was doing it. Believe me though, once we fixed it I could definitely tell the difference and knew immediately when he tried to go back to it. By the time we were finished he was going around in a balanced frame and reaching for and chewing on the bit. I could feel him lift his back and give a soft roundness that has only been fleeting before.
When we head around to the right I need to flex him more than I had been doing. My outside rein was good but I had not flexed enough on the inside rein. When we head around to the left I need to counterflex him because I need to move him off the left shoulder. When I did it right I could feel him square up beneath me. I have to admit that in the beginning when he would square up I would be sitting crooked. Bernadine told me to glance back over my right shoulder to the outside of the circle and I ended up square in the saddle. She told me to work the circle in both directions and to spiral in and out on the circle with those corrections in mind. She actually told me a lot of things but I am not remembering right now. Thank goodness for Joanne and the video!
Boo was really good too. He got a little snorty when we first tried to load him in the trailer. One of the reasons I wanted to do this clinic was to get him off the property and take him for a ride. He hasn't been off the property since we moved him in last September. He ended up riding well and settled in at the barn where the clinic was being held quite well. He has never been there before, so I thought he might be spooky in the arena. Didn't happen. I think we had him so engaged in the work he didn't have time to even think about where he was.
I'm getting shoes put back on both horses on Monday, so if the weather gets nice and stays that way hubby and I can start going out for rides. I am so looking forward to this summer! Happy Trails!