Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Pleasant Surprise

Go ahead girl, you've earned it :)

Yesterday was a fabulous sunny spring day so I was really looking forward to my riding lesson this morning, but when I woke up it was cold, cloudy and really windy!  Now, this week I've had a fair number of social commitments so I hadn't ridden her since Tuesday and I really wasn't in the mood for a stressful ride, but I decided to bite the bullet and ride Starbuck anyway.  And I received an extremely pleasant surprise - she behaved extremely well and we had a really nice lesson!

"The after class grass club"

Of course, there were a couple of spooks but they were prompted by very strong gusts of wind whipping up sand-devils and things like that, and the best thing was that the spooks were controlled - sure she broke into a canter a couple of times but within two or three strides she was back to a trot and focused on the exercise at hand again.  I also felt a lot more secure and able to release through my seat - I read a great post on Horse Listening, one of my favorite horse blogs, the other day about the ability to tell your horse "Yes" or "Good girl" in lots of different ways, and during the spooks I was very concious of trying to release both with my seat and with my hands as soon as Starbuck showed the first sign of getting herself under control.  Very happy about our work today, and feeling like all our hard work is really paying off.
Giant horse-shaped insect?  Medieval battle gear?  Or just Starbuck in her fly mask?

I also got Starbuck a fly mask the other day and tried it on her today, at first I think she thought it was a halter because she stood still for a while like if she were tied to something, but then she seemed fine with it.  Hopefully she'll wait a while before absolutely destroying it, I feel a little bad for making her wear something so goofy looking but she's already starting to get bald spots from scratching her fly bites, and it's not even April.

What's that rectangular black thing you have in your hand?  Can I eat it?

Lastly, I've decided to take some classes at another stable which is really close to mine - I saw that they had a Groupon for 5 classes for 30€ and today I walked over to ask them if I could do the classes with Starbuck and they said yes!  I think it'll be a really great way to introduce Starbuck to the idea of working in another arena, without the stress of a show.  Of course, getting another perspective on my riding will be great as well!  I'm very excited to get started and see how I like the lessons although I'm also a little nervous about Starbuck acting up or having the teacher call me out on my terrible posture.  We'll see how it goes.

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