Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's Official! I'm Leasing Chester!

 I had a great lesson yesterday on Chester. I met his owner, Jessica, who is very nice and friendly. I talked with her before getting Chester ready for the lesson. He had already been brushed because Jessica had taken him on a walk, so I just tacked him up and Jessica put some boots on his front legs. I was also using a different bit this time, a snaffle, while the other times I had ridden him I rode in a kimberwick. Meghan wanted to see if I could still control him using the milder bit. I walked around, doing walk-halt transitions for a few minutes while Meghan finished up a jump lesson. While I rode, Mom went over the lease with Jessica.

 When it was time to pick up the trot, I made a circle around Meghan and tested my brakes. I trotted a few steps, then walked, then trotted. The downward transitions took a few steps and I had to use more pressure to stop him, so after a few circles, we decided to change the bit. Once that was done, I again made a circle around Meghan and tested my brakes. I only had to use very light aids and Chester stopped. Much better!

 Once we had ensured that I could stop Chester if needed, I began trotting him around the dressage arena. My legs were a bit tired from riding several times this past week, I started gripping with knees. I walked for a bit, then focused on gripping with me calves, and things went much better.

 However, I wasn't posting with the outside shoulder, so I began working on that. Meghan had me working on correcting my posting. An exercise I did to correct this was zig-zagging across the short diagonals of the dressage arena(F to E, E to M). This helped me to focus on quickly changing my posting diagonal. I'm probably going to work on this until posting on the correct diagonal becomes automatic.
Circle at E
 After that, I rode down the long side and turned up centerline. I had to redo this several time because I didn't quite turn tightly enough. You have to make that turn a lot soon on a big horse! I rode up centerline halted and saluted at X, then went through Intro Test C(without canter).
Square halt

 When I finished that, I returned to the walk and cooled Chester out by walking around the property. Once I  finished untacking him and picking out his hooves, I brought Chester to the wash rack and hosed him off. I brushed the water off of him, then returned him to his paddock. After I put his fly mask on, Jessica gave me an apple to put in Chester's bucket. I'm really excited about his lease! It officially starts in July, but I will have lessons on Chester for the rest of the month. I will also write up an official introduction.

 Also here are some pictures from Monday's lesson--I didn't post them yet.




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