Saturday, April 30, 2011

1st Lesson: Success!

I'm a Big Boy now

As scheduled, Ben and I had our first lesson today with our dressage trainer.

Our focus: FORWARD

Ben, being so green, just didn't quite get the whole leg on --> go forward concept. While he'd respond to my leg, he kind of felt shy to it- or just unknowing.

So with eyes on the ground, my trainer and I focused on getting him moving, for longer than 10 steps at a time.

It was really tough at first. Ben was like ???? He was also wearing me out.

So we decided to use a riding bat - the short little crop, that I could use to tap him, on his shoulder, when he didn't respond to my leg.


I was able to keep my position, and send him forward in a non aggressive kind of way. If he didn't respond to my calf, then i tapped him, literally tapped him on his shoulder, kind of like how someone might tap you on your shoulder to get your attention. That was all he needed to figure it out, so it seems.

So once we had a working cue, we used it to keep him going. First few times we made it 1/2 way around.  Then soon enough we made a lap. Then a couple. Then a few. I was so happy when we got to the point where I was asking for the downward transition, and not just stopping because he stopped.

We also had some canter- which was funny because that wasn't what we were asking for at all. I just wanted him to go forward- and he did, but he did so at a canter, not the trot. Trainer coached me through- just get forward, don't worry about which gait it is right now.

YAY first canter! LOL

We ended on a really good note- trotted about 3 laps to the right, and *I* asked for the walk. You should've seen Mister Ben- so proud of himself. He hardly sweated, it wasn't tough work, but he sure was proud of himself.

Bonus: Trainer thinks he's cute! I'd have to agree.

Enjoying some post-lesson grazing

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