Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lesson Preview: June 2012

Superstition conflicts with science.  So I try not to be a superstitious person, but sometimes it is very tempting.  After I published my last post, exclaiming happily that the sun was shining, it promptly disappeared.  As I headed for the barn, angry gray clouds covered the sky, making it seem more like 7:30 pm than before 6 o'clock.  I walked into the barn and noticed a gentle clinking sound coming from the roof.

Aw, nuts.  It was starting to rain.

I found Harley already fed when I arrived, which meant that there was nothing to do except prepare the riding ring and hope that the weather would hold out long enough for my lesson.  My teacher travels quite a distance from Pennsylvania.  If we were rained out, I would have to wait much longer than a week for my next lesson.  As I cleared arena debris, meaning barrels, poles, and stray stones pulled up by the harrow, I met a dark, brown toad squatting in the dust.  I urged him out of the ring. 

"You better stay outside the fence little toad, with any luck we will be riding around in your dust patch this evening."

At ten of seven my trainer called, "How is it out by you?"

I confessed that it had started to rain, but the rain was very light and the clouds had lingered without emptying all day.  I hoped that Mother Nature was bluffing.  I decided to keep the time and hope for the best.  My trainer exclaimed that she was on her way.  I took Harley out to the ramp to mount up.  Small points of liquid landed on my saddle as I swung my leg over.  The rain actually felt good, breaking the humidity with cool, delicate drops that made no sound as they hit the thirsty ground.  Harley marched away from the ramp without a care in the world.  Already fed, he did not have the anticipation of dinner to distract or worry him.  He was perfectly happy to ride in the drizzle.

A few minutes later my teacher drove up and parked her truck alongside the ring.  As she was getting out, I offered her my rain jacket.  I was prepared to ride in my T-shirt.  Dressage queen, I am not.

"I won't need it, " she announced.  "It's not raining."  We stuck with that notion for the next hour.  The toad reappeared in the arena several times, making me smile as he hopped by our 20 meter circle.  We demonstrated, we followed instructions, we strove to break old ways and create new habits.  I tried to memorize every correct moment, so that we can practice that feeling until our next lesson.  My teacher did it again.  It was an amazing lesson.

Some highlights:
  1. My lower leg position was awesome!  That is a statement I have NEVER been able to think let along put into writing before.  The best my teacher has ever seen it and she's known me for several years now.  That was one of the things we worked on in our last lesson.
  2. Harley looks better than ever, especially his neck muscles.  Win!
  3. We can do almost no wrong going to the right!  We got some "Oohs and aahs".
  4. We were able to cultivate some cadenced, floaty trot!
Pretty, pretty.

The lesson was very challenging.  Although we were golden going right, this was not so true going left, but I believe that the work we did will be very helpful to somethings that I have been struggling with.  It was not so much "pat your head and rub your tummy" as it was "pat your head, rub your tummy, stand on one foot, hop up and down, bend your other knee, and wiggle your ears!"  At least that was what it seemed like when I was trying to get everything in place.  Of course, my teacher and Harley let me know when I "had it", but getting there was not exactly pretty!

Oh and my teacher actually asked about his feet.  She did not know that I have been the one trimming them!  More to follow...


  1. Awesome! Glad you got your lesson in and it sounds like it was a good one. Isn't it nice to have your trainer who you haven't seen in a long while tell you how great you have been doing. Always nice to come away with some things to work on too. Congratulations!

    1. A nice report card is always a great feeling!
      I like the homework, too. What dressage nut doesn't?

  2. Glad the rain held off ....and there is nothing nicer than a lovely 'floaty' trot

  3. So glad the weather didn't spoil your fun! Congrats on the lower leg compliments - that must have felt great. :)


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