I decided to hop on Lainey first because she needs a much more physical ride than Ginger, and I am an unfit weekend rider right now ;)
The bad news is she lost a shoe at some point this week and the farrier wont be out until next week. ( Side note: it's very very hard to find a decent farrier here. This guy does a great job so I'm going to have to be ok with him only coming when he can- as long as it's every couple of months or less!) The good news? She's completely sound and not ouchy so I still rode. I also think we'll try her barefoot again. I've had it in my head she needs front shoes in the summer, but we're not in the mountains these days and I think she's just told me she'll be fine without.
The theme of the lesson was asking her to soften and carry herself, and reminding me to sit deep and not carry her, also not to let her pull me forward. She's built sort of level, which I guess is better than downhill, but she's also lazy so if you let her the default is to rush around on the forehand with her head down by her knees. She's been allowed to do so the last few months, and is out of shape so we couldn't be too hard on her today. We had some really nice trot moments, but she hasnt been worked regularly and it shows. The good thing is we've been here before and I know she will get much better with proper riding and fitness. The canter, well, it was kind of a mixed bag. The first ones were pretty nice, then we both started to tire and it got pretty fast and unbalanced. We took a break and got one good one each way, again too fast, but I rode better. She has a giant stride for a smaller horse and I am out of shape, so it doesn't take much for us to be flying around an indoor! A few times I thought I might die ;). Those that know me would be proud that I stuck it out and rode it the best I could and with a smile. A big improvement from a few years ago when if handed the situation today I would have pretty much shut down and hung on for dear life. That used to be a real problem because I would sit there looking pretty, but I was too frozen to really ride effectively. I also didnt want to admit there was a lot of fear going on, so I ended up overwhelmed more than once, one memorable day even winning classes at a show, but it felt HORRIBLE. The funny thing is, now I just admit when Im uncomfortable, and a good part of the nerves are gone because I always know I have that out if I need it.
I ended pretty happy with her, after all, our fitness and the not so great ringwork can be improved and she is a fantastic safe trail horse so she always gets a free pass :) She does try in the ring, but I'm not sure any horse can compete with a welsh cob work ethic.
We're going to do a little group jumping lesson on Monday to keep it interesting. Next up, Ginger...