I had a super awesome lesson last week. I mean, any lesson on Duke is a super awesome lesson by default. But on top of that, I felt I rode effectively and Duke was ready to party.
We worked on the quality of the canter, and maintaining that through the turns and to the jumps. I was to insist on Duke bringing his withers up and not letting his his hindquarters drift to the inside. We were to be straight and uphill.
Starting with some gridwork, I would circle in the corner before coming down the center of the arena to a one stride-one stride-two stride line. We did this at first as ground poles, slowly growing to cross rail-vertical-vertical-oxer.
Isn’t it the coolest feeling when everything works like it’s supposed to and the withers come up and and you have this adjustable horse that’s just game for anything? When we had the right canter coming in, it almost felt like we were going through the grid in slow motion. Controlled, rhythmical, relaxed and round. Just. The. Coolest.
For his part, Duke was not the most excited about having to work this hard – lately he’s gotten to live the School Horse LifeTM and plod around without actually trying. He did everything I asked beautifully, though with a LOT of tail flipping to demonstrate his displeasure. Okay, almost everything I asked…that hip reallllly wanted to creep to the inside if I wasn’t on it.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure it’s an act. He was totally on it and showed up to play. And just look at those happy ears.
All photography/videography credit to my husband and my parents who all came out to watch! It was fun to have them there. At the end of the lesson my dad said, “those jumps are not small.” Which of course then I went to see how tall they were and they were 3’6″+ oxers! I’m happy to say my
ladyballs courage hasn’t faded through the summer even though I haven’t been able to ride as much. Coming up to them, my thoughts were more along the lines of, “those are nice sized fences” than “oh crap no can we even jump this? Okay cool we made it to the other side.”
So it’s nice to know I still have my confidence. Though, credit where credit is due – a lot of that probably has to do with Duke. I trust that horse literally with my life. And isn’t that an amazing feeling, too?