Sunday, July 4, 2010

A lesson at last!

Well I finally had a lesson with my favorite instructor. She has stopped riding and training due to an unrelated and unfortunate injury and now works in a different field. I really miss having her as an instructor. She is amazingly observant and well educated in both dressage, and the bio mechanics of horse and rider. She is also good at explaining her insights and observations to the rider. To top it all off she is positive and encouraging and I have accomplished more with her than any other instructor. I started training with her when I decided to switch over from hunters to dressage with that 2 year old haflinger I bought. She was there as my support during the initial training process and I don't think I could have done it without her sage advise at the key points in our training.

So yesterday she came out and gave me one last lesson for old times sake. I was nervous because I felt like I had gone back to a lot of my old habits and I also did not know what she would think of riding without a bit.

The lesson was amazing and afirming. She was really impressed with Bodhi's canter work-- it was much more balanced and off the forehand than last she saw. He also could not get his left lead last time so I was happy to show we now had both leads!

We worked on flying changes and lateral work at the canter. To my suprise Bodhi executed both of those tasks effortlessly. She says he looks very happy and balanced and forward in the new bridle but did admit she wished to see him a bit more round. So for the remainder of the lesson we worked on my position at the sitting trot to see if we could get a more round frame. Like magic when I fixed my position Bodhi was happy to give to the bitless! Yay! I am so happy that my trainer came out. She always pushes us just a little bit and shows me that Bodhi is always ready for more than I think he is.

I am having such a proud moment with recpect to Bodhi's training. No horse is finished but he is definitely close to where I wanted him to be to feel satisfied that he has the basics. He has a balanced walk, trot, and canter both directions with an abulity to regulate the tempo in each gate. He has a firm grasp on lateral movements and will stretch and collect his frame on cue. He works well in a snaffle and in a bitless bridle. He is now comfortable and balanced over fences. He is an amazing liberty partner. He is safe enough for children and beginners but is still a little squirt on the trail. I love that pony.

I am a different story of course... I have a lot to work on:
  • Elbows! I need to keep my elbows bent and not throw my reins away in transitions
  • not to drop my hip when asking for lateral movement
  • Ask him to come to me into the bridle not go to him
  • Keep my upper body still durring the canter and give through the pelivs
  • Keep my shoulders open and upright
  • Not lock the small of my back but support my upper bodyi instead with an engaged core.


  1. We always have things we can do better - I'll bet you've got a long list of things you do right!

    So nice that you had a great lesson - he's come a long way!

  2. Sounds like a great lesson. Glad you enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.

  3. Wow. What a lasting memory for your instructor; to walk away from her last lesson with you and Bodhi on such positive note. She must be very pleased for the two of you. And, congratulations on Bodhi's fantastic training results! You have both worked very hard and it's paying off.

  4. I wish I had a riding instructor I believed in like that. It sounds like such a positive experience!

  5. Wow, sounds like Bodhi is coming along really well! You should be very proud of what you've accomplished with him!