I'm a happy girl - I feel like I've really got the pieces I need to really ride Ginger effectively and to help her relax. It's hard to describe, because if you had asked me a week ago, I would have been pretty confident that I was doing just fine, and I probably was. Last night, though , we managed to take a big step forward.
Of course it didn't all go perfect. We started with about 10 steps back. I rode in the outdoor where there was a full jump course set up. Apparently that is scary. No one else showed up for the lesson,
also cause for a pony meltdown. There were horses being turned out to pasture being led past the ring. Also cause for major distraction. She was calling, doing the whole giraffe thing, and trying to plant herself and not move. Totally horrible.
It finally all clicked because I had such a good ride on Sunday. I hate to say it, but I was really looking forward to working on the canter and showing how well she has been going. Heck, I had spent part of my day checking out show schedules for next spring :) I was not impressed to be dealing with such ridiculous behaviour. So, instead of being a little nervous about creating an even bigger meltdown, I buckled down and told her how things are. You WILL go forward. You WILL pay attention when I need you to. You WILL go to work. Those jumps? You've seen them before, and hey, guess what we might want to jump them one day. Get over yourself.Nothing dramatically different than the norm, mind you, just even more determined and firm and 'don't mess with me'. The difference was immediate and somewhat amazing. Trainer girl felt Ginger put in her best work yet.
It's nice she has gained so much confidence that putting her to work is now a positive outlet rather thana cause for further anxiety. It's also good to have progressed to where I can pick a fight with her and still get a good ride in at the end of the day. I doubt she will ever be an easy ride, but she's definitely got that something special that makes it all worth while.
Where's Ginny? Also Lainey has a super shiny coat!