Sunday, December 21, 2014

Yesterday's Lesson

I realized that I've been taking lessons with Allison Spivey, of Sprieser Sporthorse, for about a year now.  Some of you may remember my first lesson with her last December, which resulted in a wintery adventure.  Luckily, getting to yesterday's lesson didn't involve going through any nasty weather.

I wasn't sure how it was going to go, however, because I had an epic fail last week and didn't ride my horse at all.  I'm not sure exactly what my problem was, but I just felt uninspired and unmotivated and like I just wanted to sit around the house.  I had plenty of other things to be doing, and I didn't do those either.  I'm hoping it was just a case of needing some downtime as my brain was struggling with all the typical commitments and activities of the holiday season.  Last year, I was ridiculously organized and got everything done on time, but I think one year of that might be all I have in me:)  So I slummed it all week (although I did still go out to see Nimo - I just didn't ride.)

Nimo has historically not done well with time off.  He seems to be one of those horses who not only needs to be in constant work, but who likes to be in constant work.  The work doesn't have to be demanding, but without it, he can get a bit fussy when he comes back into work.  As I was reminded yesterday.  There were a lot of antics which centered around bucking while cantering.  At one point my instructor jokingly (I think) offered this helpful instruction, "Don't get bucked off!  It would suck to be in the hospital at Christmas-time."  I joked back that it was a new movement that we had been working on to see if it could be incorporated into the dressage movement canon.  I actually was not in any danger of coming off because the bucking was really not Nimo's best work, although he was pretty consistent about it.  In case you are worried that maybe his tack was ill-fitting or something else was bothering him, I don't think so.  This kind of behavior is quite typical after he's had time off and then is asked to do more disciplined work.  I've never figured out the reason, but it may have to do with his back or some other part of him getting stiff and him needing to work the kinks out.

Regardless, we were eventually able to get some real work done, like 10 meter circles, leg-yielding, shoulder-in at the trot, circles in haunches-in, and we even introduced shoulder-in at the canter.  We also continued our work on canter transitions and ended the lesson with the best trot-to-canter transition he's ever done.

There was also a level of merriment just because of the holiday coming up, I think, and we did our lesson while another lady was also having her lesson.  Another trainer was working with her student via the loudspeaker system while Allison and I had earpieces to communicate.  It's kind of a cool set-up, and the trainers are used to working with each other, so there ends up being some coordination to the movements of the students and it kind of looks like we know what we're doing:)  Anyway, I always have a little extra fun in these types of lessons because the other trainer is pretty funny to listen to (she cracks a lot of jokes and has her own brand of sarcasm) and she works really well with Allison, who is also funny.  And then, of course, I'm funny:)  So it was a little bit like a party, and it was a welcome change from the more serious approach I take when I ride on my own and don't have anyone to interact with.

I am going to do my best to get back on a regular riding schedule this week.  It looks like there is a possibility of thunderstorms this week (dear Mother Nature, what???), but I should be able to find 2-3 days to get in the saddle.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a lighthearted, fun lesson minus the bucking hehe.

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