I’m sorry this is a bit late, I was really tired and didn’t want to write..but I finally decided to begin writing, so here we go!
I was a tiny bit late, but they had just started assigning horses. I was eventually put on….Lakota! I’ve seen Lakota, ridden next to Lakota (during summer camp), but he was never in our lesson. So this was going to be new. Since he was in the middle (in the barn) he took a bit longer to get ready.
I mounted up and got my stirrups adjusted. I entered the arena at his slow, slow, slow walk. When I did three circles around at the walk, I decided to go ahead into a jog. He lumbered forward into a jog but not into a trot. I squeezed tighter but he didn’t go. I slapped him with the reins and clicked. Still no. I kicked him and clicked and then slapped and he began jogging.
Lakota’s jog was smooth and steady. It was just this little jog that was so smooth it was like floating. You wouldn’t expect this from him. He was a large horse with a massive build and comes out from him was a small, smooth jog. Not what you would expect. He jogged faster sometimes and sometimes he just went easy and slow. It was weird because for the most part it was completely random when he went faster.
“Toes forward,” Christina told me.
Ride on the inside of your leg. I twisted my leg until my entire leg was pointing forward. I jogged around. After a bit we all were going in the same direction and Christina asked us to all pick up a jog. I squeezed and clicked and he immediately picked up the gait unlike the first time. We jogged around a bit and we dropped our stirrups.
Then we did a few exercises like circling, jog-halt or halt-jog transitions. Lakota did pretty
well except that he wouldn’t halt from the jog very easily. He would seem to have this feeling where he would lean on the bit and continue walking. “Check your bottom underneath you more,” Christina suggested. I tried it and it worked better…but still not a square halt.
“Pick up your stirrups.”
I pointed my toes inward and then flipped them out so I could pick up my stirrups. We walked around a bit, giving the horses a rest. Then we picked up a jog again. The arena cleared out and we used the whole arena. Now we had more space. Our spacing expanded.
“Okay, do an extended jog on the long side a didn’t a western jog on the short side of the arena,” Christina instructed.
On the long side, I began squeezing and squeezing and tried even small bumps. He sped up but didn’t lengthen his stride. Lengthen! Lengthen! I tried posting a bit. It was a bit better. I reached the short side and sat down and pulled back a bit and softened my back to try to slow him down.
I pulled back more and more. Then I reached the long side again and began bumping him forward. He didn’t extend much but sped up. Squeeeeeeeeze. Bump bump bump. He sped up a bit more. Along the short side, I pulled back and softened my back again to try to slow him down. It was a bit better. Back on the long side, I pushed him forward and tried to get him to extend more. “Lengthen your reins.” I gave him more rein and he extended better.
Short side, long side, I slid my hand up and down the rein to give him the correct length so he could either shorten up or lengthen his stride. I eventually began posting so he could lengthen even more. It became much better. He jog was so smooth, so the posting felt much smoother too [for some reason...? XP]. It was hard to pull him back into a jog on the short side because he was going at such a fast pace on the long side, there wasn’t much room to slow him down on the short side.
We eventually finished up and we lined up on the north side of the arena (tracking left) and we were to go down the center line on a right lead lope. When it was my turn. I turned to face Christina and walked him forward. I asked for a lope. He sped up at the jog for a moment and then broke into a…left lead lope. Even on the right lead, his lope was choppy and uncomfortable.
“Don’t worry you can try again.” I pulled him to a walk and lined up again. I thought to myself, push with the seat bone more.
My turn again and I asked for a lope…again, a left lead lope. His lope was uncomforatble to sit and I didn’t like it one bit. Such a nice jog but what a lope! “His lope is uncomfortable,” Christina said, “He has a bit of trouble with the right lead lope.” I nodded.
We did a bit of walking and jogging before lining up on the south side of the arena (tracking right) and we were to pick up the left lead lope. Okay, we can do better than last time. You just had trouble with that lead. I turned him to face Christina and sat heavily on my right seat bone and pushed with my right leg and a little with my left knee and leg and asked for a lope. He lept into his choppy lope and I hoped it was on the left lead. “Good!” Christina said, concluding my thoughts. I pulled him back to a walk when I was at the other end of the arena.
I pulled him into the line and gave him a big pet “Good boy!” We did it again and again, Lakota did it again. We finally walked them out. We got to play doggy, but Lakota didn’t really want to walk.
I didn’t ride Prima today, but I did spend the day with her, so I will have a post coming out on that…some time. So I do have a few things to say.
I know I could’ve done better on this post but I’m a bit lazy right now. Sorry. I’m really tired and you will find out why in my next post :)
As for Colorings and Markings week, I’m not 100% positive it will work out of the whole week…so I guess…mmm…well I guess we’ll cross the bridge when we get there.
That’s it for now. :)
Okay…a note AFTER I wrote this post. I wrote this yesterday so I didn’t publish it. So I had to put pictures in today. Thanks! ;)