I have not had time until now to record my notes from my lesson on Friday. It's been quite a busy weekend although it wasn't supposed to be. I'll fill people in in case anyone out there is interested.
In addition to riding and endlessly scouring the net for fun horsey info I also have spent the last 6 months volunteering as a foal sitter at the New Bolton center for Large animals. For people who are not from this area it is the veternary hospital of UPenn and the place that Barbaro, of race horse fame, was cared for after his unfortunate accident in the Preakness.
So yesterday I spent 8 hours helping out there with a 3 month old foal who had gotten stuck in a fence and now had brain damage, poor girl:( She was really had an uphill battle and her owners were only giving her a couple more days to improve. I really hope that thinks look up for her. She was a Welsh Pony and mom was there with her, too cute.
So that was my Saturday. Even though I was exhausted I love helping out with animals and being around horses anyway I can so it was great and I'm a bit sad that the foal season is over for this year, although I'm sure my husband is doing a happy dance.
Back to my notes on my lesson, I rode Sophie (my usual riding partner) and we concentrated on moving her forward at a steady upbeat trot, keeping her focused on me, and doing lots of leg yields to keep her from creeping in towards the middle. I struggle with those but have seen alot of improvement since I started running with my leg strength (which you need with a big draftie) and my flexibility. After these we went into serpentines. I actually love doing flat work because I really think that it just helps to really perfect your riding and learn to really communicate with your partner.
We tried cantering a small circle without too much success so we took it back out to the rail. My reins slipped and I just lost my focus on keeping her in one contained area. I was also struggling a bit with just getting her to not break out of the canter.
The major area that my instructor said that I need to really focus on is getting my posting trot to look smooth and not forced with my knees bending and squeezing when I sit. I have seen it done correctly lots of times but really have to focus on doing it correctly myself. I struggle with "kicking" too much and not squeezing so on
Wednesday that is something I will personally be focusing on.
We did do a couple of small jumps at the end of the lesson, the 2nd try went better than the first with Sophie being more forward and actually "jumping" it. My instructor said that my form was really good over the jump though.
A group lesson this week and another private on Friday as well as working at the barn all afternoon should prove for another horsey week.
Oh and I almost forgot to tell everyone that I got to see a mare be artificially inseminated too! It was actually gross but cool at the same time and just makes me stand in awe at what animals let us do to them...