This was the scene when I arrived at the barn:
A super foggy day! Ginny's friend in the picture is a teeny tiny little standardbred off the track. He looks a bit tough and menacing with the lighting in this picture - I think he'd approve of that.
Ginny was still very on edge and spooky to start with. I set up a couple of poles to lunge her over to keep her a bit more focused. Embarrassingly enough, after boldly cantering over them several times, she starting looking around elsewhere for ghosts for a second or two and forgot the first pole existed - so had to stop and spook at it like it had moved or something. Seriously, sometimes I question her sanity :)
|Still looking for ghosts|
After confirming she could in fact negotiate the poles without forgetting them, I hopped on. From the start, I was focused on having her move straight and forward. No sucking back, no popping her shoulder away from the 'scary' arena rail. One section in particular poses problems for her because there are some small jumps and barrels stored just outside the arena fence. Not to mention there's a super creepy announcers booth right there. This is a day by day thing - sometimes it's perfectly fine, sometimes she's suspicious and I have trouble keeping her straight. The path of doom:
Believe it or not, we actually had an excellent ride. She settled in and I stayed focused on my goals and we got some good things accomplished. Nice round circles, straight lines, good transitions. Respectable leg yields, even towards the rail. She was a lot more settled in the contact as well, but that may only be due to me really focusing on making sure my hands were steady and my shoulders straight. I have an awful habit of fiddling with my outside rein for no apparent good reason. Left lead felt really good, right still rushed but we can hold a 20m circle consistently which is progress. She felt generally hot and spooky, but I felt like I had her attention today and could use the energy for good things.
I've literally been begging for lessons, but myself and several others are still wait listed - the clinics are perpetually full of the 'regulars'. There are other options available but I'm not sure they would suit us. I have an eventer acquaintance who may be able to give the odd lesson here since her parents live locally and she travels up to visit now and then. She also happens to be Lainey's first owner, so we can discuss my big bad mare :)