Really enjoyed my first lesson with JC and came away with homework. JC had Alexis ride in the lesson with me to make Riva (and me) more comfortable for our first time in her arena. I was so proud of Riva - she tried hard the entire lesson and was forward and calm.
JC started by talking with me about my goals and what we most needed to work on. I had thought about this, so I was prepared! Told JC that I want to successfully compete at Training Level next season and that we most needed work on canter, in particular, the right lead.
So she had us get moving and instructed me to stay up with Alexis's horse, but stay about a horse length behind. It was kinda like follow the leader, with JC calling out what she wanted us to do. She told me that she really just wanted to watch how Riva goes and get a feel for where we are right now.
Husband took lots of pics, but only the still or walk shots turned out -
lighting was pretty low in the arena.
Blurry - but I like our position.
We did lots of cantering - starting with just cantering on the short ends - and progressing later in the lesson to the long sides. She told me not ot worry about roundness just to keep Riva moving in front of my leg.
One exercise we did that helped get Riva sharp and off my leg was what JC called the box. She would have us halt on the wall and then back 3-4 steps, then move her off the wall with the outside leg, halt, back 3-4 steps, move her back to the wall (on and off the wall was to be with no moving forward, so like sidepassing), then trot off. We have not worked much on backing so JC had to step in and do some in hand for the backing and sidepassing. But after doing this exercise several times, Riva was sharp off my leg and went right into the bridle.
We did lots of change of direction, 10 meter circles, trots across the diagonal, stretchy trot and even cantering on a long rein, which I have only done once before. Before the end of the lesson, JC had Alexis stand in the middle with her horse and had me trot and canter Riva on our own to see how she did.
We took one walk break, so by the end, Riva and I were beat! We spent the walking cool down talking about what to work on until my first lesson. JC wants me to work on lots of canter - not to concentrate on contact in canter, but just moving forward. She wants me also to work on the box exercise.
Good girl hug!
I liked that we were constantly moving in the lesson, which kept Riva from getting bored. She did so well for her first lesson in a new place. Only snorted at a pallet of arena footing that was near one corner, the first time we walked by it, then ignored it. I think she likes looking at herself, so the entire long side and one short side of mirrors were great. Love the footing in JC's arena and how huge the place is. You can get a great full speed (for us!) canter going on the long sides.
Another lesson there in 2 weeks!