Friday 17 August 2018

Lesson Recap

On Tuesday night I had another lesson on Cisco. In my lesson on Phantom the week before I asked my coach if she had any tips on getting a green horse to pick up a sticky lead. Which I said was probably because he isn't sharp enough picking up the canter. She said she had a great trick she picked up in Holland so I said I would ride Cisco next week and we could work on it.

I walked him around while she finished the lesson before me. I got miked up with her CeeCoach-type system (not sure which brand she has) and we picked up the trot. After what only felt like 3 minutes of trot she told me to ask for the canter - as I approached the wall on the circle, step into my inside stirrup, outside leg back, and tap him on the shoulder with the dressage whip. And use my voice.
One pooped pony post-ride.
First of all, I wasn't ready to canter after only 3 minutes of trot! So I fumbled and the first attempt sucked. We circled a couple of times to steady Cisco's trot, and tried again. He picked up the wrong lead, so rinse and repeat again. And we got it! Still not super clean, but not as much running trot into it.

We did that a few more times, each direction. There was also a jumping lesson going on, so I tried to just go large and just let him roll forward around the arena. There were a few moments to the right where he slowed his pace down a bit, and didn't feel like he was running so much. For the most part though the canter feels like he's running with his lower neck stuck out. But I've just got to let him roll along to find his own rhythm and relaxation. No matter how icky it feels.

After a really good canter to the right we went back to some trot work.

We're starting to have some moments to the right of being able to get right flexion and not fall in with his shoulders and ribcage. Tonight we managed to get more, including some lovely moments on a 3 loop serpentine across the short side of the arena (which is about 30m wide, so 10m turns). A glimmer of how he's going to feel - which is fantastic!
I tied him up and went to mix his food. I heard hoof sounds in the aisle so peeked out - this is what I saw approaching me. No idea how he untied himself and ended up with the lead draped over his face.
My coach kept saying that she loves how much he tries. He's trying so hard to figure out what I'm asking him to do.

We had to stop to shut the arena gate as I led him back to the barn after the lesson. He was pooped - pretty sure he would have been happy to have a nap standing at the gate.

So it was another great lesson. Not much new stuff learned but pushing me to ask more of Cisco than I would otherwise.

Unfortunately. I'm going to have to drop down to bi-weekly lessons. I've had a bunch of expenses over the last month (new hot water tank, furnace repairs, new back door) and need to economize a bit. If I do bi-weekly I'll probably alternate between Cisco and Phantom. It means only one lesson a month on each, but at least that will still give me something to work on.


  1. Sounds like a really good lesson, sucks that you have to drop the frequency. Sigh adult life.

    1. I hate spending money on things like heat and water. I only want to spend money on horses!

  2. aw what a good boy, i love that feeling of a horse who tries <3 seems like you're getting a lot out of these lessons, which is a shame you have to do fewer but at least a good lesson stays with you for a while!

    1. I'm not really learning much that I don't already know, but she's pushing me to ride more correctly with Phantom and pushing me to do more with Cisco. I'll try to get a few more lessons in through the fall before work gets stupid busy, although it looks like coordinating our schedules might become a bit of a problem.