Tonight's lesson was alright. Checkers felt a bit stiffer than normal to warm up and I had an angry lower back. The old girl was full of herself though tonight and kept me working. She was ready to go and was feeling pretty sassy. She also thinks she knows EVERYTHING (actually, she probably does) and forward was not an issue. She reminds me so much of Lainey with the super work ethic and the know-it-all attitude. Also the bitchy mare thing, but we ignore that because they are both such good horses. In short, I was pretty sore and grumpy, and she is old and grumpy and knows everything. So we spent a little bit of time being grouchy mares together and arguing about things on the flat. Then on to jumping which went well for the first round, but we changed the second course a little bit so this resulted:
Me: "Checkers....the next jump is over there...HELLO IT'S OVER THERE...."
Checkers: "Last time we were done jumping here and then I cantered down the long side and did a circle. I've got this! LA LA LA I am ignoring you because you obviously don't know what we're supposed to do!"
Me: "Checkers, I'm serious!"
Checkers : "OK." (grudgingly jumps, then tries to veer over to the wall and back to her master plan - I barely keep her on a decent line for the second part of the related distance)
Instuctor is bent over laughing by this point, because she knows what's going on and Checkers is now MAD that we are "doing it wrong".
Seriously though, this horse is worth her weight in gold for a lesson barn. I suspect I could have a super easy lesson if I chose to and could just sit up there and let her do everything for me - for sure the flatwork, but I suspect she can also memorize a course after one go - it's amazing how wise the older horses are. It's super neat to ride a horse who is the exact opposite of Ginger in every way. Frustrating, because I miss my cooperative, light, and athletic girl, but neat. I feel like I micromanage Ginger because she is so unconfident - babysitting her constantly is the trap I let myself get sucked into, which really is only going to perpetuate the problem. So, a horse like Checkers, who has her own agenda, is good because even if I want to be a control freak, she's not always going to let me and I have to trust her to do the right thing. This riding thing is supposed to be a partnership, after all.