I took my second lesson yesterday from the new trainer, Laura. I got to ride a different horse than last time, and if we worked well together, this horse would be mine to ride at this barn. I got there early and talked with one of the girls in the barn I had met previously, she works at the tack store on the property, while Laura was finishing up her lesson before mine. She sent me out to get the horse from the pasture, in the back 40 of course. I walked out there and she met me at the gate which was awesome. I was really hoping I wasn't going to have to hoof it around a huge pasture to find her.
I brought the mare back to the barn and got her groomed up. I had to wait to tack her because the lesson before me was riding in the Prestige I normally ride in when we do dressage lessons. So I just talked with Kailee, the girl from the tack store, until Laura and her lesson came in. So back to the mare, Jazz. She is about 16 hands, black with four socks. Percheron/TB cross, she has a nice head, and not one of those giant heads some Perch crosses get. Big, stocky girl. She is quite green, but I don't think it is anything I can't handle since I am working with a trainer. Her owner and the trainer think she would make a nice eventer, which apparantly is where I come in.
So we walk down to the big jumping arena and I get on. She gets corrected for walking off as soon as my butt sits in the saddle, and then we start our warm up. She definitely feels like a green horse under saddle, its a little bit like riding jello. She is trying to balance on your hands and you have to work to keep her straight. I pushed her up into a trot, and she really does have a lovely trot. She is quite heavy in your hands and I had to really exaggerate my cues, but she is nice mover. I think she will be really nice once it all clicks. The trainer has jumped her a few times, and aside from her not understanding what a straight line is yet, she is fearless over jumps.
We moved up to canter and she doesn't really know the standard cue for canter yet, so I kissed her into it. The left lead was nice and we did a few laps working on her corners and not dropping her shoulder in and I worked on sitting and not going into a half seat. The right lead was a little rough. It is my bad side, and I have always had a problem with the right lead on every horse I have ridden. So it is something we get to work on together. The canter is generally my weakest gait. I think because I have not done a lot of real lesson work on the canter. Overall, a great second lesson and I really like the horse.
So when we were done, I untacked the horse and then hosed her off in hand outside the barn. Then the trek back to her pasture in the back 40. When I got back to the barn, the trainer was getting ready to walk out to another pasture and pull out a training ride. She invited me to stay so I did, and I helped her groom and tack up this hunter. He was a lovely bay TB, who is ridden by a 4Her. The 4Her is a bit overhorsed, but not because he is naughty, because she isn't an assertive rider. Laura put the horse through his paces and I helped her out by raising and lowering the fences. Laura kept telling me how much nicer it is having someone on the ground, it cut her time in half.
So we got done with that one, she went to go hose him off, and I got the next one out of her stall. A small quarter horse with a big attitude. I got her groomed and tacked up, then back out to the arena we went. Lather, rinse, repeat. When we got back to the barn, I did everything in reverse order, hosed the horse off in hand, then put her away. When I got back over to her tack room with the bridles, I was cleaning the bits off, and I caught her looking at me funny. So she says to me, what do you think about coming out and grooming for me on a regular basis in exchange for lessons? Just groom, tack, and groundsperson, no cleaning. I said sure, I'd be there Tuesday morning. Oh, and she wants me to show the mare in 2 weeks.
Welcome to the big time. :o)