Friday, February 6, 2015

First Two Rides on Lucky!

 Thursday, I rode Lucky for the first time. Laura lunged her first, focusing on getting Lucky to become balanced and relaxed, without having a lot of tension in her body. When Lucky was ready, I led her to the arena and mounted. For my first ride on her, she was a bit slow and behind my leg.
I gave Lucky a bath after Thursday's ride.

The first lesson was mainly focusing on me, my position, and my turning. Laura said that I have good leg position and equation and that my leg is very still, which is great! I rode Lucky on a figure eight around to cones, with two parallel poles in the middle part where I changed directions. the poles would help me to keep Lucky straight.

 Laura taught me how to use me body, not my hands to turn when riding, by slightly turning my shoulders and looking where I want to go. Lucky is really sensitive, so I didn't need to turn much. In fact, I ended up turning to much at first, going to the inside of the cone by accident instead of the outside. I tried this at the walk and trot. Learning this also gives me the ability to turn a horse's hips the same way I learned on the ground. By turning to face Lucky's hip, I could make her do a turn on the forehand. Laura helped on the ground at first, and then I was able to do it on my own.

Lucky drying after her bath.
 Friday's ride went better. Lucky was forward and in front of my leg, was better balanced, and more loose in her back. I worked motley on the rail, trying to keep the rhythm I wanted, rather than let Lucky set the rhythm. I did this by slowing my posting to get a shorter stride, quickening it to for a larger stride. It's amazing how little things in the body can affect the horse. I was also able to get her on the bits few times.

 To finish the lesson, I rode exercise that helped me ride straight and make better turns. There was a single pole near the middle of the arena, with a cone near each end of the arena. At the center of the pole was an orange flower. In the exercise, which I started at the walk, I would start at one end with a cone to my left, pointing Lucky toward the middle of the pole. When was heading there, I focus beyond it. I would them turn around the other cone and repeat the exercise, like doing a figure eight. I focused on using my body to turn, not my hands. First, walked the exercise, then trotted. I was actually fairly close to the flower during the exercise and was able to use my body. One time, when trotting around the cone to the left, Lucky was balanced and the turn was coming from my turning my body to face the pole. It felt great, so Laura decided to end on the good note.
Diagram of the exercise. Not to scale.

 After every ride, Laura likes to find a few things that went well or the things she accomplished, no matter how frustrating the ride was, whether it is something her horse did well or something she did well. This can be getting a good distance over a jump, or your horse going the whole ride without freaking out at something if you have a hotter horse. We came up with these things together:

Cute Lucky after the ride.
  • Lucky was more forward and balanced
  • My hands and body were more quiet than the first time riding her
  • I used my body to turn her, not completely relying on moving my hands everywhere

 I really love riding Lucky' she's a fun horse


  1. That's a great idea to make sure you find something positive in every ride, no matter how it goes! Definitely something I'll try to incorporate into my own rides.

    1. Yeah it's a great idea. It helps you from focusing too much on what you didn't achieve.

  2. Lucky is adorable!! i agree - finding something to be happy about after each ride is a great idea :)


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