Lainey had her remaining shoe pulled on Thursday and was still a bit ouchy Saturday so I gave her the day off. Ginger wasn't so lucky.
It was a bit of a mixed bag. I got to the outdoor arena early and Ginger was a little upset that the horses in the previous lesson were leaving her. Not in a bad way, per say, just calling a bit and really tense and unfocused at times. Normal green horse stuff multiplied by the Ginger Drama Factor which is an exponential that obviously varies unreliably like the pony herself :) I love how trainer girl is just all about working with what you've got.
Basically, lets make it our goal for Ginger to walk relaxed on a loose rein once around the ring. And let's make our goal for me to gain some more tools to get her there.
My big take away from this lesson was that I need to remember FORWARD is my go to button any time I feel like I'm getting in trouble. Obviously not forward as in running away, but forward and working properly. Such a simple concept but so hard for me to really apply. If you had asked me before the lesson I would have said for sure that when she's anxious I make her work. I was wrong. We need to multiply my idea of forward and working by about 2.
Shes so sensitive that if I just tense and think "uh oh" for whatever reason, she gets more worked up and falls behind my leg more- you cant fool her. What I really need to do is lose that second of indecision and just steady her and ask for more. More forward, more straightness, more through. Use that energy for positive things. We got some beautiful work from her doing that and I'm super convinced my pony is the best ever ;) I still can't believe how athletic she is, and how easy she finds everything. Its more the mental game for both of us that needs the work at the moment.
I can tell whats going to be a theme in our lessons for a while: Keep my shoulders back and my horse FORWARD!!! If only it was that easy...