For whatever reason, she decided at the start of the lesson that life outside the ring was far more fascinating than anything else. She was so busy attempting to keep an eye on our surroundings, we were back to stumbling over every pole and generally wobbling our way around the arena. So, obviously focusing the pony was the name of the game and we did many, many transitions, tons of spirals, and the "circle of death" I which we mostly failed to trot and canter a 20m circle with 4 evenly spaced poles. Since we weren't doing much but rearranging the poles, we moved up to a canter around the entire ring in hopes of burning off some demon pony steam. The right was awful and featured a couple of big scoots and attempted bucks, the left was better balanced but left my gloveless fingers with blisters such was the freight train effect.
Since nothing was working for overly long, we switched it up and went back to our circle of death at a walk and did a tiny circle after every pole, really forcing her to move her shoulders around in a pirouette and then walk out straight over the next pole in a cloverleaf. She was furious, and let her opinion be known with some pinned ears and swishy tail, but did it after attempting to just ignore me, then attempting to be all dramatic and overreact. Ponies! The only plus to this lesson was that pony tossed out some pretty nasty behaviour and I feel like I handled it well and got the job done fairly and quietly. As long time readers know, I can be somewhat lacking in the confidence department, so it's always nice to feel like I was able to buckle down and get the best I could from a not so good day.
We followed our lesson up with about an hour of walking trail ride with the barn owner. Bridget was a star, of course, and a good time was had by all. My only concern is I inadvertently rewarded her for a not so great ride in the arena, but hey, we've got to have fun sometimes :)
I'm barn touring again tomorrow night - this one is $$$$$ but comes with the coach who's started her fair share of riders on to the upper levels yet remains completely welcoming to beginners aka the coach I've been hoping to get in with :)
|One more of the big mare|