Sunday I had another lesson using Lena, and she did an admirable job of being good, but still challenging.
This is important as she is preparing me for a lesson on Calabar.
The difference between them is interesting. Lena knows what to do. She was trained in both cutting and basic western riding skills--stopping, turning, neck reining, collection. She just doesn't always do it. She likes to drop her right shoulder as you move to the right and cut corners no matter what direction you go.
Calabar doesn't really know what to do, so he reacts. Even Peter says he's not bad, that his main problem is not knowing what you want and then trying to get around it. He needs guidance, just like Lena, but in a slightly different way.
Lena needs a reminder that we know she knows what she knows.
So we spent time on moving her forward, staying straight, and collecting. It did take some doing, but once she saw I wasn't going to let her slack off, she got better. That was about 5 minutes before the end of the lesson, but hey.
We (well, I) also worked on posting because, as Peter says, I have to do it on Calabar. He has a big trot. BIG. Bouncy. Hard to sit. So I post, and not very well. In fact, the last time I got dumped, I was posting. I bounced too high out of the saddle, laughed.. and ended up on the ground when Bar bolted forward.
So Peter pushed me to work on posting effectively. We made some progress, but I think it's an ongoing project. I swear I was barely out of the saddle and Peter said I was still too high. Sheesh. "It's a back and forth, not an up and down." "Lower!"
My posting aside, I felt good about the lesson and what we worked on. My seat feels better, softer, more solid. I feel calmer, more confident. Again, it may be because of all the bits and pieces Peter makes me think about--hands, shoulders, feet, not to mention directing the horse. It was also good for Lena to use her body the right way and she seemed calm and happy when we were done.
My plan is to take a lesson on Calabar this coming Sunday. I'm nervous, I admit it. But I also know it's time to see what he and I can do.