Friday I had a group dressage lesson with two other girls: Anica and Kaylee. I rode Chester in the snaffle bit again. I haven't been using it every ride because Chester is very fast and much less calm than he is in the other bit. Simply having the stronger bit calms him down. To begin, I started by trotting Chester around the arena(after walking), halting at every letter to make sure I had control over him. He is more challenging to ride in this bit so it is important I have complete control over him, especially in a group.
I asked for the canter on the middle section, working up to cantering the whole thing, with trot transitions in between to change directions. Canter serpentines still need some work, but I was able to do them.
Next, everyone took turns riding the dressage test's they are working on. Chester had been a bit hot earlier, but I decided to keep his snaffle bridle and work it out. I began my test, tracking left at C to ride the loop. Everything was fine for the first half of the test, but as I rode the loop to begin the second canter part, Chester became a little faster. I was able to control him for the canter part until I almost finished the circle to the right. I must have glanced down or something because the next thing I knew I was slipping off--again. Somehow I managed to land on my feet beside him, holding the reins. I guess it's just one of those weeks. Horses have a way of showing us that we have a lot more to learn, especially when we begin to think we have improved a lot. I'm still amazed that I landed on my feet. Maybe I should be a vaulter, ha ha.
Anyways, I remounted and resumed the test at the part when I rode the MXF loop. The rest of the test went fine with a controlled canter. After watching the other girls ride their tests again. I rode the test once more. It was much more successful and more calm and controlled.
When I finished, I hacked around the property with the other girls, riding across one of the fields rather than taking the usual path that loops around the barn and paddocks. I like riding with other girls, but still like having private lessons since I can have more focus on what how I am riding and what I'm learning. I'm going to do group lessons every other Friday for now.