Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dragons Under the Surface

YOU GUYS. Working with Mary is the best thing ever.

For one thing, her barn is gorgeous and supremely well organized. If there's a stray bit of straw in the aisle, she's like, "ugh, sorry my barn is so gross." She's such a positive and happy person to be around, too. I can't say enough good things.

Lex has settled in like a champ. She has a best friend who is a pony. Their stalls are next to each other and they go out in the same paddock at night. Mary said last night (the first night they got turned out), there was one squeal and then they had heads down eating grass all night. In fact, when I got to the barn this morning, Lex looked all glazed over and had her lip flopping, which never happens. I handed her a piece of carrot and she was like, "Just put it in my mouth and I'll chew it later." Clearly she did not sleep last night and spent the whole evening chowing down on the spring grass. Love her.

I rode Lex yesterday and took a lesson today. Yesterday was kind of a lesson, too. Mary is intrigued by Lex because she's such a pretty horse and looks like an athlete (Mary says she looks like an eventer--go figure!). She fell in love with Lex's walk and pointed out that the canter and the walk are connected, so a horse with a good walk can develop a good canter. Yesterday she just watched us wtc both directions and figured out our strengths and weaknesses (my right leg, her tension).

Today's lesson was really great. It was basic stuff (tack adjusting, leg position, getting Lex to push from behind and accept contact) but it was really useful. I don't use enough leg at the trot but I use too much at the canter. Lex wasn't in top form today because she's still getting used to being at Mary's, but she didn't do anything wrong.

Highlights:
  • As I galloped madly around on the right lead, as often happens, Mary yelled, "We can't work with this canter yet so for now you just have to survive it!"
  • Mary told me that she thinks I have plenty of talent to work with. It's always good to have that confirmed. Speaking of which, she thinks Lex looks quite sound (KNOCK ON WOOD).
  • When Lex was relaxed and trotting well, Mary was like, "That's the trot that wins the dressage."
  • Lex really trying hard to figure out what the deal is with rhythm. It's a work in progress but she'll get it.
  • Mary said we're at a crossroads with her. If we make the right decisions, she'll be a nice, rideable horse forever. If we make the wrong ones, she'll be a dragon. Um, no pressure. But having that dragon just under the surface will be useful when the jumps get big, I think.
All in all, I'm quite pleased with everything. We have another lesson tomorrow and then Lex might get a couple of days off, depending on what the weather and my schedule do.

I'm hoping that one day soon, my mom can come tape a lesson. I think that would be super fun. And speaking of fun, we're aiming Lex at a clinic in two weeks and maybe a schooling show next month. Fingers crossed!

6 comments:

  1. Yay!! Sounds so perfect for you two!

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  2. Yeah!! :-) Love when instructors love our horses. Now I can take home notes from your lessons to help out Courage. Perfect. :-)

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  3. Hooray! Sounds like a really amazing situation for both of you :)

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  4. YES! I knew Mary would love Lex -- she makes everyone a fan as soon as they meet her (cause she's super awesome).

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