Last night, we had lessons! Was so happy - after 3 weeks - to get a lesson in. With battling Riva's thrush, random bad weather, and Henny losing a shoe - we hope to get back on our every other week lesson schedule.
We got out to the barn early enough for me to lunge Riva and groom her before our trainer got there. I was able to finish up, put Riva back in her stall to chill, while L had her lesson. L worked on Dressage for her lesson - since her jumping is much improved.
Riva must have forgotten that she is 'scared' of our trainer. Normally, she is on her best behaviour when the trainer is out in the arena. After 3 weeks, she seemed to not remember her. Which was a good thing. Trainer usually only sees Riva good side - the sweet, willing, forward mare - not the stubborn, sticky, witchy mare!
Started with Riva poking along in walk. I got after her to move out - she pinned her ears and cow kicked. Trainer got after her with the lounge whip...Riva decided to march along and swing at the walk.
Moved on to trot - better, but still not as forward as trainer wanted. She got after Riva again with the lounge whip. We worked on trot to walk to halt - right back in to trot. That started getting Riva moving and forward. She was going along really well, until she decided exiting thru one of the side open arena doors seemed that a better idea. This door leads to the gelding pasture, in which the gate was closed (thankfully!). Trainer followed me out and instructed me to get her turned around and facing the barn - did that. Every time she tried to turn one way - trainer had me turn her the other way. Said just keep facing her towards the barn and getting after her to go back in. Instead Riva backed up into the gate - once her butt hit that fence, she decided going back in the arena WAS a good idea.
Ok - so we are back in the arena...right back to working on forward trot. Each time we went by that open door, I blocked with my outside leg and rein and we stayed in! Moved on to canter. The left lead canter was good! Got full arena several times - Riva had good speed and steering - felt lovely. After the last canter, I let her go in to her strechy trot. Trainer loves this about Riva - she has a natural ground covering stretchy trot after canter. She does not pull - just moves along.
Time to switch to right lead canter. She went in to it willingly each time - but we really had to work on getting a good bend before asking for canter - pushing her forward with my seat and outside leg - keeping the rein just slightly to the outside of her neck. Not bad - we worked on right lead longer and we achieved on really nice lap of the arena. She was smoother and in a nicer rhythm than we had ever achieved on the right lead - yeah!
I was glad Riva was her Diva self a few times during our lesson last night. Gave us a chance to work thru issues with our trainer. And my trainer was proud that I was getting after Riva with my voice - loudly - said I scared her one time :)