M, in all of her wonderfulness, gave me a lesson this morning even though she just got back from vacation and I'm sure she'd rather have been weeding or something else to catch up around the farm. I'm so grateful, because it was a very productive lesson. I have a few pictures that weren't from this lesson. My mom came out a week and a half ago and took them for me. That was a better day than today.
As I mentioned the other day, Lex is soooo not into walking. Halt or jig or trot (and the trot is mostly pretty sticky and not great). She is trying to stay behind my leg. Given our recent issues with being nappy and bucking, I am not enthusiastic about this. When I was in Ohio, D always told me "softly forward in front of the leg." She was right, and Lex is not doing that. M reminded me that Lex is not broke to my leg yet, and so that is now the primary goal.
|Walking like a normal horse.|
Today M told me we were just going to work on the walk and nothing else. Despite my love of jumping all the things, I really enjoy these kinds of foundational exercises. We got on a circle to the left and walked on a loose rein until the behavior started. Essentially, I'm to be very clear and not take any shit from the mare. She can't shut down and halt, and she can't tense up and jig. She can walk nicely and on contact. If she is doing that, I soften at the elbows and praise her. If not, I use voice commands in addition to leg and hand to insist that she go where I want her to.
|"My rider sure is a dum-dum sometimes |
but at least she knows where the carrots are."
1. Lex is a fabulous horse. She is brilliant and talented and athletic. I am lucky to own her.
2. I am not afraid of her or intimidated by her, though I am sometimes annoyed. I am definitely not overmounted. M said once, "I am not teaching you how to ride, I'm teaching you how to ride this horse. If I had to teach you to ride, this would be inappropriate." She explicitly agrees that Lex is not too much horse for me, and that it will be rewarding to get through all this nonsense (which I would not get through as effectively without M).
3. She is green, though. When she has more buttons installed, she will be easier to ride, because I will have more options for responding. Sometimes with this shit, the only way past it is through.
4. Given that, there will always be something with her. Any time we introduce her to something new, whether it's using her back or trot poles or whatever, she will be like WHAT THE FUCK and fall behind my leg. My challenge will be to keep her moving forward WITHOUT throwing her head up in the air. This will become easier when she's more broke, as I said.
I wrote a whole thing about owning a horse like Lex and removed it. I might retool it and publish it as its own thing. But the bottom line is this: She's not for everyone, and I'm lucky to have the help I've had and continue to have with her. To ride a horse like her, you've got to want it, and I totally do. Happy horse owner here, even on the tough days. She is so worth it.