First lessons and new plans

Saturday was such a dreary day, with constant drizzling and rain.  Spent the entire day with the barn girls, and we did horsey errands, and went out to dinner.  The weather then took a turn for the worst, with a lot of lightning and a lot of rain. 

Sunday morning, got to the barn to see that the ring was flooded, so no riding.  We would have ridden in the paddocks but it didn’t stop drizzling, so the ground didn’t get any time to dry out, so no riding. 

Monday I had my first lesson with the new trainer.  My trainer tossed out the bitting rig that we had her in, the curb rein only on the pelham, which was fine with me considering I want to find a bit I can show Lib in.  And I want to fix the problem of Libby being heavy, not just band aid it with a bit.  So we traded the pelham in for a Myler full cheek with a German martingale.  We spoke at first about what needs to be done with Libbys training, and then we got to work.  Getting Libby to hold herself up and not lean on my hands was in a word, difficult.  I had about 1000 lbs in my hands after ten minutes of our lesson, and we were only working at the trot.  Everytime she started leaning on my hands, I brought her down to the walk while still having her engaged behind, and then right back into the trot.  About halfway through the lesson, my arms just couldn’t take it anymore and I needed a break.  I stopped and my trainer got on, which I was happy to see.  She got her going so much lighter, and she asked for the canter, and literally MADE her sit on her hind end and use herself.  I’d never seen Libby use her hind end so well at the canter!  She got off, and I got on, and I asked for the canter myself.  Took a couple strides for me to get it, but I got to feel her light in my hands, and come up through her back.  Its so sad to me that I hadn’t felt her use herself quite like that, and while it makes me upset that I stayed so long with training that wasn’t correct and didn’t give me the tools to train her correctly, it gave me hope that with some work, Libby can be a whole new horse.  One that uses herself correctly and isn’t sore. 

Tuesday I just hacked her in her new rig and she was good.  I mostly did trotting to get her underneath herself, and then asked her for the canter, but I didn’t get mad when she got fast, and I kept my hands high and square.  I was able to feel the great light canter for about 10 strides at the left, and maybe 5 on the right.  Doesn’t surprise me since her right has always been tougher. 

One of the trailer in lessons got there and I stayed around to watch her lesson.  She was riding her mare around, and they looked like an awesome pair.  The mare looked super light and responsive so I said something to my trainer about how I wished Libby was that light the the hand, and engaged.  She literally laughed and said about 6 months ago the mare was a freight train.  Running through her riders hands, unresponsive to aids, and not using herself correctly at all.  Gave me even more hope, and made me super excited to see what Libby can be!

Today me and my trainer ran errands first, gave Libby her Channukah present (a new halter) and then came back so I could ride.  My trainer gave another rider at the barn a lesson at the same time, so she would shoot me little pointers every now and again, getting me to engage Libs hind end and supple her on the inside rein.  Lib had a great workout! Got to feel that canter yet again, and for longer this time, so shes improving! She did start to get heavy again after we cantered but I kept at it, and she started lightening up afterwards.  Yay for correct training!

Tomorrow the girls head to the show so I’ll be there cheering my barn mates on!

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