Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Expense of Experience?

I seem to be back in the swing of things, finally getting a lesson in on Moon and am looking forward to a few more practice rides before I head off on Christmas vacation.

I've a thousand times posted about how Moon will always be the horse I met a year ago in my head, but lately, especially after having a short break in riding, I can't help but see how much he's changed. I attribute soooo much of that to Coach W and her teaching. That's not to say I've been a passenger, but her guidance is what has taken us so far. I was doing the math the other day in preparation for our year end "Financial Review" post and was taken aback by our lesson costs.

Since we came to W in May, I've paid about $850 in lesson fees. Which is equivalent to about 2 months of training fees, but in exchange I've learned a great deal about training a horse in addition to improving a ton of my own faults. Plus learning and improving on a bunch of things I never used to do. Or didn't understand how I was doing!

$850. I don't even feel like that's a lot. Not for what we have gained. It's a small expense to pay for so much knowledge, experience and learning.

Today he was a dream. Granted, he's a bit of a lazy bugger at times and I finally had to pull out the dressage whip. One light tap and he was great the rest of the ride to the point where I got to put it away and carry on.

His transitions are so improved. He's learning to reach down, he did some great 10 m circles, my sitting trot is improving in leaps and bounds and he did a great shoulder-fore down the long side. Leg yielding, awesome. We even did some extension-collection work and he gave it a good effort.

W helped me correct his counter bending on the circle, giving me a great analogy. She compared him to a tipping chair. When he's falling out, you're not going to correct him by pushing him out. As you can't keep a tipping chair upright by pushing it in the direction it's falling. You instead need to push from the opposite side, and straighten the chair. THEN you can move it back out.

So I began straightening him with outside leg, THEN bending him into the circle, with a little lift to get him to lift his shoulder. Since it's the stiff side, it was a bit more work but when he got it, he got it. Woohoo!

She promised next week is canter...we hope! : )

Some arena observers were commenting on his lovely trot, which apparently is soo big for a little horse. W says he'll excel at piaffe and such because of how he rounds his little body and moves...*shrug*, okay. To be honest, all I want is a canter circle. Screw piaffe and passage. ; )

No matter what though, I'm in love with him whether he's spectacular or not. Truthfully, he'll be whatever he'll be, and I don't care. He's already a thousand times more amazing to ride then I ever expected, and we're only 8 months in.

Someone remind me how much longer it is till show season starts??!

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