Bar had his first lesson with Peter today and with only minor arguments and correction, he settled into good work.
When I first got him out, I wasn't sure how this would go. The wind was a-blowin' and the rain was intermittently slamming onto the metal roof, plus Bar may have picked up a little bit of my anxiety about the upcoming lesson. He was a little high, so I let him run in the round pen for a bit while I was waiting for Peter. He did settle down, though, after burning off some of his bouncy energy.
I watched Peter on him, and they had a pretty good ride. Peter got after him a little, corrected position and frame--Bar likes to push his ribcage out, apparently--and drift wide on his turns. Peter also commented that Bar's right shoulder is stiff, which I knew--probably a legacy of his racing days, plus a side effect of protecting that bowed tendon.
Then Peter had me get on inside the round pen, first at a walk, then we even managed a sitting trot--kind of a first for us! Well, for more than a couple strides, anyway. We worked on my turns, my position, and figuring out when that ribcage pops out. Bar's, not mine. I have my own issues to work on, naturally, but I felt good about getting back on, though my seat did object after not too long. I think I'm going to take some lessons on one of Peter's more trained horses to help sort out my own body so I am in a better place to help Bar get and stay in frame. Oh, and so I stay on when he does spook or try anything.
Peter, being Peter, said most of it is probably me because Bar didn't try too much of anything with Peter. He reminded me that our brains tell us the entirely wrong things when we're riding and to ignore the instinct to curl up in a fetal ball when we get scared. It's hard not to get tense when I get scared, but I know he's right. Must. Tell. Brain. To. Shut. Up.
The little bit of coolness--besides watching Bar figure things out and try to watch me and listen to Peter at the same time--was feeling my seat. Feeling my legs loose and relaxed, balancing on my butt and not really having to think about it while I worked on the other stuff.
And it even lasted after I could feel my seat in a not-so-comfortable way.
I know we have a ways to go, and it will be a lot of work, but for a quiet moment today, I moved with my horse.
And it was good.