|do 'charlie at the trailer' pics ever get old? bc sometimes that's all i get from a ride lol|
|FINALLY got around to replacing the gullet plate in the bates. had bought the narrower plates ages ago but only just made the switch. so far trainer P and i are pleased with the change.|
Meaning - even if we didn't do anything serious in the lesson, Charlie would still gain from the exposure and experience. Small steps and such.
And honestly, given that I don't board where my trainers are, lessons are my only chance to check in with them about all things Charlie - updating on everything under the sun that's going on with him. His diet, his turnout, his shoes. Trends under saddle, little odds and ends here and there. Just the small stuff that typically comes up among friends and advisers in passing, but that I have to save up for lengthier recountings when I finally get to see my trainers.
Trainer P is just so fantastic for long, thoughtful and wide-ranging discussions on horse care. She has seen it all, done all kinds of things with all kinds of horses. From Shetland racing ponies to timber horses. She always has ideas, useful anecdotes and helpful hints for helping horses thrive - while also staying realistic about what it means to be a horse with a job.
|the weather was weird, yo. and did i mention it's been wet? charlie hardly noticed tho, i guess hacking out in rainy and muddy conditions has helped make him indifferent to nastier conditions|
So we were just trotting around, doing lesson things, when P asked how he felt. I had to laugh a little bit that I had already forgotten, but I guess that was a good sign. Charlie felt fine. Felt ready to go! And so we lessoned for real. Yay!
|brave pony cared not a whit that he was hacking solo to and from the arena, where he was also alone|
But anyway we kinda just ignored that. Focused on riding the horse evenly from both hind legs into both reins. Encouraging that inside hind to come up and under, and maintaining some activity with the inside rein, while my inside leg pushed him into the outside rein.
|the longer hairs on his face were coated with mist and the tiniest water droplets after we finished. ethereal!|
But also be quicker to soften and follow when he gives. That was actually the coolest part of the lesson. And it's maybe been something lacking in my riding lately. That feeling of "pushing the contact forward." It's obviously not news to me or anyone else reading, probably. But I guess after feeling like Charlie was pulling me down out of the saddle for so long, I sorta developed an "end" to where my contact could go. Remembering to follow really helped!
|this maybe my new favorite picture format. 'charles through the trailer doors' lol|
He got the idea after the out jump, even finding both leads himself - good boy!! But we were not super duper successful in getting a canter stride in between the two jumps of the grids. His last time through he kiiiiiiinda got it. Like, definitely pretty close. So we called it good, lots of praise and what not for being the most cleverest of all ottbs.
|such weird weather tho. like. it's january, what gives?|
I was also pleased with his nonchalance at the sloppy wet footing. Tho, truth be told, I've been riding at OF for a couple years now and that outdoor arena is my favorite arena of all time. The footing is just simple sand, but it holds up unbelievably well in all weather. So long as it's not frozen, it's basically rideable. And Charlie seemed to agree - he was very happy to be outside!
It may have been nothing groundbreaking as far as lessons go, but it doesn't have to be at this point, at least not for me. We may not end up ready for a CT this spring, let alone a full three phase.... but that's ok too. I'm pretty satisfied with the pace of our progress and am enjoying our rides. Just needs more lessons!!!
Who knows tho. Maybe spring fever will kick in early with all this mild weather and I'll suddenly find myself impatient to get out and do more advanced stuff haha. We'll see, I guess! Do you find yourself influenced by the weather in that sense? Like it's easy to be laid back and relaxed in the winter, but once spring comes you want to be doing all the things?