Even with my recent purchases adding to our looking spiffy, we hit Lurena's again on Saturday after I spent all morning teaching dog training lessons. The drive there was pretty brutal as my brain decided after teaching it was nap time and no matter what I did, I was just a zombie. We made it there (easily and safely) and I got started. Another really nice person greeted me and I again failed at being social. I'm always so on point for my tasks that I fail at social.
I suppose there's worse things?
I tack up and get on Mr Simon before heading into the arena. I focused on playing a bit more with the outside rein in our warmup and woke up a bit more. Lurena showed up and introduced me to the "other" rider. I apologized for being me and committed his name to memory. Hopefully he's always wearing breeches and/or near his horse. With the pleasantries out of the way, we got started.
My main goals this time were to video the ride (yeah no), focus on grouping things into categories (warmup, rhythm, suppleness, etc), and when to use what. I was hoping we'd work more on the canter and that I'd be able to get a little more coordinated and some better insight after our cool/tiring lesson from Thursday.
Overall the lesson was really good and focused on bendy things and getting Simon looser, more supple, more suspended, and more through in his body. Its always more of a mental lesson for me with Lurena than physical and I imagine for Simon it's like horse yoga. He did great though and only showed some signs of tiredness at the end so that made me feel good. We clicked nicely on most everything and if I can replicate how we ride most the time at the shows we should be decent.
The dreaded left lead canter was much improved and the outside rein deal definitely is the key for both of us to stay connected. More work on that, plus transitions, plus balance, plus the things :)
I had also mildly wondered if Lurena was always so complimentary of my riding because she's just that nice. It had sort of started slipping into the whole "maybe she's doing it to get me to come back" land because crazy!brain. But no, I watched a lesson right after mine and she was consistently and politely asking him to change X, Y, Z on his body and how it would affect the horse, etc. I managed to say something like wow, I guess you DO like how I ride and she smiled and nodded. Yay! Nice to know all those years of trying to do something weren't done in vain. Also... it was a bit fun to watch someone learning to ride (only 4 years into it) and how much fun they were having. His angle of the fun might be a little different, but I liked watching him learning.
For this riding session's saddle pad attempts, I used liquid bandage, baby powder, and the new Success Dressage Pad. I was going to use the EcoGold memory foam as well but decided to keep it simple and see how this worked. Overall, it worked really well through our long and involved lesson. Definitely going in this direction is good, so I'm happy to keep on going. If I want to nitpik things, using a piece of KT tape would have helped but then it doesn't help his back heal soooo yeah. #rambling
That's about it for Mr Simon this week, more to come next week I'm sure.