Oberon and I reach an understanding (Part II)

     So Oberon and I ended our first lesson with Sarah on a really low note. I was completely frustrated with my lack of knowledge, and Oberon was probably scared and confused. I was frustrated for a few days, and repeated many times how little I liked him and even threatened to sell him if he didn’t improve. 

     Then Robert stepped in. Saturday after the lesson, Robert picked up the gauntlet I threw on the ground and impressed me. He tacked Oberon up and then put him on the lunge line. Robert got his attention and asked for transitions and focus. Oberon paid attention, and Robert didn’t push the issue on the line. He mounted and rode Oberon around the large arena, especially in the corner Oberon gave me so much trouble in. They had a really lovely ride and I started to see some potential in Oberon again.

      Rain stopped our next scheduled lesson, and the next. So last week I finally got to ride Oberon in a lesson. I prepared myself mentally to focus on the ride and got Oberon started. I lunged him to get his attention and remind him that I was going to be in charge AND take care of him. Then I rode him in the cutting pen for our lesson with Sarah. We worked on establishing a bend with our inside leg, pushing the horse into the outside rein. We applied this at the halt (turn on the forehand), walk, trot, and canter. Then we worked on the exercise at the w/t on a figure 8. 

     Oberon gave me trouble at the beginning when he thought about being spooky. I drove him forward and immediately asked him to work harder. He decided that working at a normal level was preferable to working harder after a spook. I had laser focus for this lesson, which made all the difference in the world. There were plenty of distractions outside the arena, but we managed to overcome them. 

     All in all, the moral of the story here is that Oberon needs a strong leader. He cannot relax without someone telling him what to do every second. And in order for me to be that person, I have to bring my game face. If I can’t find my game face, Oberon definitely gets a day off. 


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