Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Monday, April 25, 2011

In the Arena #71 - Discretion being the better part of valor...



I must confess, I left a little something out of my last post. My ride on Saturday was actually a lesson from a different trainer. My boarder's trainer who was visiting from PA for the week. I had to take advantage of getting instruction with my horse in my arena. But somehow it felt a little bit like cheating on my trainer, and I wanted to mention it to her, before writing about it in my blog. She was cool with it...whew!

So - as I already related in my last post, the lesson went really well, but wasn't without it's intricacies. I was pretty nervous. Really nervous. There's something to be said for the trust you develop with someone you've ridden with for many years. I trust my trainer. I know that she has my best interests, and the best interests of my horse uppermost in her mind. Then there were the inevitable differences in theory and position. I feel like I succeeded at separating the valuable bits from the parts that contradicted, with out flipping out, or offending the visiting trainer. The best part of the experience was working in my own arena, and having someone push me way past my comfort zone. We broke new ground for sure.

Thrilled to report Saturday's magic carried over to today's ride. Forward. Tons of trot... no stickiness. Smooth changes of rein, rode into and through the corners, figure eights and weaving the cones. I can really see the difference when I support Val with the inside leg to outside rein. He feels better balanced already. No surprise, when he doesn't have to compensate for my interference so much. We're navigating contact too. While he's not reaching the reins from me just yet, he does seem to be appreciating my efforts to be consistent.

We worked in two point as well. After reading Grey Horse Matters' post on two point (with the very helpful diagram) I realize I have sooo far to go with this exercise. My balance is nowhere near what it needs to be... oh well, no pain, no gain. We finished up with halt trot transitions. Val treated me to several very square halts.

Afterwords some grazing, in the Bermuda Triangle, where for once, something scary actually did come crashing out of the woods behind us. A deer? Val leaped right into me, but caught himself and just brushed my shoulder with his shoulder. It was a very agile move, thank goodness. While I wish that he didn't feel so spooky out of our arena sometimes, he does seem to be a little more thoughtful about scary stimulus, and much more aware of me, in relation to his escape route. I'll take that as progress, and a sign that little by little he is trusting me to be the leader, and of course keep us safe from the myriad dangers lurking around every corner... don't worry Val, I won't let anything happen to you, I promise!

13 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

A lesson from another trainer is good for us sometimes, it is always nice to get different perspectives. The fact that your "regular" trainer didn't mind shows that she is comfortable with her training and does have your best interests at heart. Good for you and Val for doing this at home. I'm sure it really helped get his mind focused on you and working in his arena.

Have fun with the two-point it's a killer but it does help.

billie said...

I agree - your trainer being fine with your lesson is the very best sign. Trainers can be so competitive - and my sense is that when they are, there's an underlying reason that isn't a very good one.

It's fun when the lesson comes to you, isn't it? :)

Jessica said...

I definitely know how that "cheating" feeling is with trainers. My mom has it really bad with riding instructors because she takes lessons regularly at many different places. She was talking about stepping into the digital age and how she couldn't have a Facebook because then all of her instructors would find out about one another.

Muddy K said...

Inside leg to outside rein... don't you wish we could just apply to all of life? Because it works! Love reading about your work with Val.

jill said...

I am working on a lot of this stuff also. I like riding with someone new. A good instructor knows their limits and will reccomend another to ride with if you're stuck. Good work for you...it's hard and I get so sore sometimes too!

Annette said...

Thanks for letting me know that it took awhile for the bruising to go away and the turpentine to kick in. I think it must sting - but less and less each time. At first he was yanking his foot away when he saw it. He is walking fine this morning so who knows what he did yesterday. Horses!

Victoria Cummings said...

You're so lucky to have a trainer that you trust - and an understanding one- they can be incredibly competitive and touchy. I think it's great to get a fresh eye on how you're doing. I always remind myself that I have no deadlines for working with my horses. Just work each day with what they are offering me and little by little, we progress. It sometimes takes a while for what I'm asking to sink in. Right now, we're all very rusty after this long hard winter.

Allison said...

It's funny but NOT when they want to flee into the center of the herd when frightened, and WE are the herd (of 1).

I really liked your hair pictures below! :-)

Amy said...

Those are some of the very same things I have been trying to work on. I spend some time each ride going around at a walk/trot in a two point with my hands on my head. I am sure if anyone watched me ride they would wonder what in the world I was doing.

Sarah said...

Ohh, the multi-trainer thing can be so frought with peril, but it sounds like everything's cool, so yay! Glad you had a great ride.

achieve1dream said...

Glad your other trainer wasn't offended and that things carried over from your lesson. A new perspective is always a good thing. Sometimes we get too close to things to see the big picture. It sounds like you're making great progress with Val. :) Keep it up!

Jessica said...

I definitely know how it is to have the feeling of "cheating" on a trainer or other long-term business relation. As some have already mentioned, it is good to break the routine sometimes and see what else is going on out there!

... Or you could be like my mom, who trains with so many different people without telling the trainers that she's worried about creating a Facebook because she doesn't want her trainers finding out about one another.

Jessica said...

Okay sorry to post two comments that are basically the same! I remembered writing a comment a few days ago, but I thought that didn't have a chance to actually POST the comment the last time I visited your blog, haha.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...