I had a shared lesson this afternoon and it was horrible!!!!! I should have warmed Sam up at home but I didn't have time so I jumped on and started to walk down to the riding school. I could feel that I was going to be in for a fun ride. You know when you can feel them dancing under your seat? People probably can't see it but you sure can feel it! When we got there I asked if I could borrow a lunge lead and I took him into the round yard and started him on the lunge. He wasn't too bad and I made him do a lot of transitions up and down. He had a wonderful time bucking and I reprimanded him each time. He started to focus more on me though you could tell he was having a lot of trouble with this. I jumped on him in the round yard to make sure I was happy to ride him. He seemed ok so I took him into the arena where Sarah had already started the lesson.
He was working ok until we went into trot and had to follow Sarah. Benny is a lot more forward than we are and I am not sure what happened, I was asking for more bend, Benny was going away from us and we were on the part of the circle that he always tenses up on. He just went up! Came down and went up again! Scared me too pieces. When he came down he just stood there while I composed myself. I think he scared himself a little. It took a bit to get him to walk forward but he did and was quiet while I hyperventilated!!!! I picked up the contact and kept going. He was still so tense but I did got some nice work out of him as well. About 50min into the lesson I was really over it all and ready to call it a day but Jenny (the instructor) wanted us to do some cantering. I said no and worked Sam on a small circle in the middle of the arena. He coped well with Benny cantering around but I could just tell he was really over it. I asked him to collect up again and he got really antzy again. He probably felt that I was over it so figured why do we have to do this! Jenny thought he was better today than last week though.
Unfortunately my confidence has plummeted and now I am having second thoughts about the competition. I will still take him but I will decide on the day if it is worth it or not. I know I need to take him out more so he gets used to it but maybe I am not the person for that. You know what I think Sam would really like - I am not sure what it is called but it is like orienteering on a horse and at each stop you have to do something, jump a log, open and shut a gate without getting off, things like that. I think Sam an I would both really enjoy that. I find he relaxes on a slightly looser rein but I keep getting told to shorten my reins, shorten my reins, shorten my reins! I told Jenny that I have never ridden with this sort of a contact before and I just have to keep shortening those reins!
Tomorrow I think I will just ride Sam in his halter again and relax! Or take him up the road and ride in the vacant lot. We will get there I am just having a bad night!
Thanks for listening!!!!!!!
I booked Sam in to get clipped Sunday morning!!!!! I'll take photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!