I dutifully made the great treck over to my coach's arena this morning. I luckily managed to trick Miss Tea into thinking it was feeding time rather than travel time, and got her haltered without any chasing for a change. Usually when she sees me go anywhere near the truck and trailer on my way out to her, she is gone to the far corner of the paddock. Trailering is VERY scary for her.
It was -22 this morning as I headed out, but dressed so warm that I could barely tell what temperature it was, and I am very fortunate that the barn I ride at has a heated tack-up area.
Miss Tea was quite frisky and jumpy when we started. She hit an empty box with her tail in the hallway on the way into the arena and leapt like a Lipizzaner and kicked out at it with both feet. Great start...
After apologizing for our disturbing entry, we got started and soon were trotting and warming up our horses and ourselves. I was riding a group lesson with a lady I had never ridden with before. Of course, I had to steal moments to see her riding ability and position, just to be sure I wouldn't be the worst rider. Turned out, we were both about the same. Phew!
We trotted poles in a circle, which Miss Tea had to look at and practically jump over every time, worked on leg yields, serpentines and then canter. Why is cantering SO exhausting? I can make it around the arena maybe twice at the canter before I am huffing and puffing and wanting to cry uncle. You would think I was doing the running rather than my horse.
Finally jumping! First ground pole, two strides and little X, then one stride, pole. Good. No spook, kept my eyes up and it felt nice.
Then coach added a second X to make a bounce. This would be my first bounce with Miss Tea. Survived! Not great, but went through. Next few times were much more smooth.
Finally added third jump, two strides off of bounce. Miss Tea had a HUGE look. She started gawking at the last jump before she hit the first ground pole and we ended up having one big sloppy stride before the first X and then I managed to just push her through with a lot of mane grabbing, clucking and very huge jumps. Ack! So ugly to watch, I am sure. The subsequent trips through went much better and left the lesson happy.
Can't wait for next week!