It’s the little things
My regular lesson is during the week, in the evening after work.
I’ve started getting on Fin early and we have a good, long walk warmup under the lights. It gives me a chance to let go of work and just relax, and it’s good for Fin to just chillax and not have every ride be immediate work-work-work. We work a bit at the walk, and then we halt somewhere out of the way of anyone who is taking a lesson and we just hang. Then we work at the walk. Then we chill.
Sometimes we do more chilling than work, and sometimes we do more work than chilling. It just depends on life.
Last Wednesday, when I went to bring Fin in, he was on a mission. In true Fin style, it didn’t appear to be any mission in particular. Just a mission. It probably involved food, but mostly it involved walking very quickly towards anything that caught his eye. Which was everything.
I tacked him up and took him out to the ring, where he still had that “ZOMG the world is AWESOME” gleam in his eye.
He never put a foot out of place. He was just acting like an ADD two year old.
We had some nice moments at the walk—some good stretches, staying straighter much longer, some nice changes of bend, and some baby leg yields.
But he was also acting like an ADD two year old and when I stopped to let him chill for a few minutes—usually his favorite activity bar none, because work is hard and standing around is easy—he was on the go again in less than a minute.
When my instructor wrapped up her other lesson, she looked at Fin and she looked at me, and I looked at Fin and I looked at her, and we decided to skip the lesson. For all that we’d had some really good moments in the trot, he was just not very focused. And I am still building my confidence with him, so what I do not need is for him to have young-horse-playful moments that I overreact to. We will get there, but we didn’t need to get there that night.
She rode him later in the week, and I scheduled another lesson for the weekend. Now that we are having better weather, the smaller arena has dried out enough to ride in. And while it’s overall area is smaller than the dressage arena, it is wider—which makes it a much better place for me to work on cantering with him right now, because we can ride a larger circle and balancing is easier.
As we were trotting around early in the lesson, she was all praise for his training ride—the temps had been cold (*cough* for Houston) and the horses in all the paddocks/fields were galloping around like loons, and he was a rockstar throughout it all. He wanted to look, but he didn’t try to join in all the fun.
As she’s telling me how super my horse is at ignoring shenanigans in adjacent paddocks when he is working, a horse in the pasture next to the small arena snorted.
And Fin startled and scooted forward. Because snorting horses are scary, apparently.
I managed not to fall off while laughing at him, and I think that’s a huge accomplishment.
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