I tagged along with my Eventing Team friends to their lesson yesterday, which was still happening despite quite angry winds. Yay for indoors! I joined on a flatwork day, and I also added myself to their lesson next week, which is jumping week. I was actually supposed to be in this week, but there was a scheduling mix up, but whatever. I'll take a nice jump school any day (so long as ponies aren't being wimpy).
There was a great variety in the type of horses this time around. A couple were either young or green, still trying to figure out forward motion and rhythm, with graceful avoidance of contact. Others, such as Coach from the interest lesson, were much more schooled and had started work on more advanced maneuvers. Steph was great about making sure that everyone was getting more individualized attention due to that variation.
- it's okay to lose rhythm for a moment when you're trying to establish forward motion
- OTTBs benefit from coming about 5' off the rail
- even if a horse is well schooled, make sure they aren't relying on the rail
- the walk is important
One of the riders was small (like me) and rode a quite large Thoroughbred (okay, I ride a Thoroughbred cross). He's still figuring things out, and organizing 17+ hands of confused beast is difficult when you're in the under 5'10" squad. Her reaction to him is quite similar to what I do (though she has more experience and doesn't emotionally shut down). She would brace her forearm in order to keep him together, but Steph noticed that the rider's activity during the downward transition is what worked well to organize the horse. As with everything when it comes to horses, it was a matter of getting the right feeling.
Why does it have to be so vague and complicated?
Also, if anyone is interested in doing a clinic with Daniel Stewart, shoot me an email. The team has one coming up on May 6th & 7th.