Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Continuation on the Lesson Update...

I'm not sure I completely finished my 1st lesson story yesterday, opting for a good nights sleep and some muscular relaxation. I must admit that today I'm not nearly as sore as I expected. Then again, it's only been 12 hours, and experience tells me that it takes a day or two before the real tightness sets in.

Yesterday remains a highlight of my riding career for me, though a part of me wonders how much of our praise was as motivation or confidence boosting, and how much of what W said was genuine appreciation for my Moon. Granted, she really seems like a honest, forthright person, so perhaps I should leave my pessimism at home, and accept that Moon is a wonder horse. Okay, not a wonder horse, but rather a very willing and special pony.

I have a little bit of chest puffing going on over the lightness of hand praise from W, because it's something I've obsessed over for a long time. And apparently that obsession has been to my advantage.

Wendy's comment about Moon's frame after we had worked on bending being what they would be looking for in an entry level dressage show for green horses, say if we went to the June schooling show, lifted me up about 10 notches in the saddle. I do REALLY want to take him to a show, ribbon or not. He's just so special and wonderful to me, and I want to have that adventure with him. The thought that we had SOMETHING to offer at a schooling show a month away blew my mind, and while I know we're not ready for it yet, I know that we can make it there eventually.

Impressed I remain about his behaviour when we arrived at W's place. Yes, he was excited, but his ability to calm right down and get to some serious work in literally a matter of minutes, is unthinkable for a reasonably untrained, unexperienced horse. Some days I look at him or work with him, and am CONVINCED that he's an ex-western show horse, that someone stole and then sold off. He's just too talented and capable and calm to be naturally born this way. I seriously KNOW that if he continues to be every bit as capable a learner as he is now, I won't hesitate to get my next horse from Rockin' R Ranch/Rothwell QH's in Miami, where Moon himself was born. They're still breeding his half-siblings, and I just LOVE his willing personality.

I'm trying very hard to keep his movement and my body language for the bending and suppling exercises we did in my head, so that I can reproduce them. The farrier isn't able to make Saturday anymore, so we've rescheduled for tonight. Of course, the BF will be less then happy that I will be MIA yet again in the evening, but this is important to me. And while we're at it, I'll be able to get in a practice ride, the day after the lesson and hopefully get some of this to start sticking for both of us.

Tonight "the saddle club" (as I've named the trio of girls that now comes to ride the ponies at T's place, who in all rights, remind me terribly of the actual saddle club!) will be at the barn again, which is kinda neat as they might enjoy learning or watching a hoof trim from Debbie. I know at that age and being into horses but not owning any, it would be neat to see.

The only things about the Saddle Club I'm not fond of, is the fact that none were wearing helmets yesterday. T had told them they had to, but they were forgotten. Considering one girl took a tumble (though not injured), and keeping my own head injury in mind, it's something that really bugs me. I'd love to get my coaching levels and teach girls like this, but rule one would be: No helmet, no horse. And that's a hard and fast rule.

I do wish T had a sand ring as I'm sure the grass ring is still too wet to practice in. And with the Saddle Club potentially in the front paddock, I want to have the space to ride and focus without worrying about 3 young girls on 2 year old horses.

On a good, but potentially bad note, my MPI (Manitoba Public Insurance) rebate arrived, and unlike last time when I got $2 back, I received $660! Which I now have to curb myself from spending on a schooling show, new saddle or expensive horse gear. I'm thinking I'll either hold on to it to purchase some fencing for the back field, a cultivator to start a garden, or save it for when we're actually read to show. It does however make me less worried about my 3 day train trip on Ottawa next month.

So that I suppose, is my entire update, barring anything I missed. Like the fact Mr. Moon ripped off his bell boot in the trailer, and it's not exactly fixable. . Suppose they were only $5 and Greenhawk has them on sale for $8 right now. Oh Mr. Moonpie...

Ah yes, the other thing.

H called me today, as she's starting lessons with W as well. Coincidence? She had recently signed up for driving lessons, and I'm a little surprised that she's doing dressage again too, but I suppose it feeds nicely into the driving program. And I guess we motivate one another to get into these types of things, and push ourselves.

So she invited me out to ride in a lesson with her next Saturday morning, though I'm not sure it's going to work for me. I love the idea of getting in a second lesson in the week, but the long weekend means we'll be knee deep at the property. WIth the time required to grooming, trailer, tack, ride a lesson, untack and trailer home, required 3.5 hours yesterday, and W is a bit closer then H (paved road = faster time). Plus the lesson will cost me another $30 or so I haven't budgeted for. Though riding 'semi-private' or with a friend, means that the lessons costs less...though I really do find that the individualized attention of private lessons does a lot more for me. It's almost worth the $5 extra required, to have 100% of the coaches attention, compared to saving $5 and getting 50%. The math just doesn't add up.

On that note, I guess it's a little strange that after how keen I was on taking lessons with a friend, I'm now not as gung-ho about it. Even with T, as much as I'd love to see her getting into lessons and we could trailer out, I think it would be great if I did the first hour and she did the second or vice versa. That way we each still get a full hour of undivided attention, and can be one another's grooms in the off time. Would work out really great that way.

Unfortunately, W will be raising her lesson rates next month, so it'll be about $20 more a month. Sucky, but still, I'll work it out. Really she's still very economical at the end of the day, and I suppose just more in line with other coaches in the area.

Wednesday's at 6:30 pm is our time slot now. Each month, every month. I'm still just amazed with our ride yesterday, and the partnership that we have.

Remembered another thing I wanted to type about!! His laid back personality and how well he settled in and got to work. I'm CERTAIN this is going to be an awesome characteristic for when we get to start showing, as he'll be easy to work with and hopefully not a big handful. 12 is the perfect age, isn't it! : )

Another thing! I tried on the cooler yesterday, and it doesn't fit. Too tight for sure, which totally blows. And I'm not really wanting to buy a replacement as I spent $45 on this one. Greenhawk has an awesome dress sheet, but it's like $90, and not really worth the expense for me. Oh . Maybe I'll post it on Kijiji and see if anyone is interested...I wonder if I could get any takers if I posted it at $40...I should take a picture tonight just in case...

Last thing I promise! W was saying how she *might* go to a schooling show this summer, but I was thinking if her or one of her other students is doing any showing, I should offer to be a free groom for the day. It would be excellent exposure to the show environment, so I'd have some idea of what I'm wanting to get in to. Maybe a conversation for the next time I'm out...

I should really get back to my day job slowly next Wednesday will come!

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