For the weekly dressage lesson I decided to bring Jellybean. Mostly because I actually rode her between the last time Sarah laid eyes on her, unlike Knots. Jellybean got breakfast before we left and I did something completely stupid that luckily didn’t end in death. While she was eating I walked up behind her and started to put a shipping boot on her hind leg. By some miracle of God I didn’t get kicked, she just jerked her leg forward. Amanda, be more aware!!!
Anyways, we loaded up the trailer in a fairly boring manner, Jellybean appreciated getting into a lit trailer instead of the dark trailer of the last week. We drove down the road and arrived just on time. We brought a breakfast taco, and hoped our offering cancelled out our lateness. One day we will be on time.
As I got Jellybean off the trailer and tacked her up, I saw the kite fill with air and lift off. Jellybean was snorting and checking everything out. I tied her to the trailer (on the opposite side as Bear) and she started screaming for Gracie (spoiler alert: she wasn’t on this outing). I put the saddle on (whew, it fits now. It didn’t fit last time I tried to ride her in a dressage lesson… a year ago.) and then the bridle and walked her around the trailer. She was still looking at everything. I started getting her girthed up and she just kept spinning around me. Maggie asked me if I wanted help holding her. I declined and continued playing the spin around game. Sarah asked if I wanted a lunge line. I also declined and mounted up.
We walked a lap and then immediately started trotting around. There was this terrifying rope thing swinging in the wind across the field (hammock) and then there were flowers in front of a large log stack. Scary life.
Anyway, this doesn’t end with me getting bucked off and falling in the dirt. Jellybean calmed down and we got to work in the arena. We worked on trotting in a nice rhythm and just a little bit of inside leg to outside rein in the trot. Then Sarah had us work on the turn on the forehand. Jellybean did two steps immediately, and then the trick was to get her to stop anticipating the movement. Hmm.
We switched sides back and forth asking for the turn on the forehand and Jellybean started to get frustrated so we did some more trot and worked on a figure 8. Then we came back to the work on the turn on the forehand. Sarah explained to me that we want to teach Jellybean that she can more her face and neck without moving her body. We worked on that at the walk a bit. Walking straight while turning the head from side to side. We also increased the amount of bend we were asking for in the turn on the forehand. Jellybean was trying really hard at the turn on the forehand and she was trying to wait for a cue instead of guessing.
After a little break, we worked on some cantering. We cantered two 20m circles at the end of the arena and then continued down the long side trying to maintain rhythm and balance. Jellybean was very balanced at the canter, and Sarah seemed pleased with her. Circle right Jellybean even stretched down to find the bit and get a little help with some balance. Sarah pointed out that this was really good, and that one of the nice things about baby horses is that you can teach them the aids are for helping, not hurting.
We were finished after the canter and we walked the horses out and chatted a bit more. I was pleased with Jellybean’s brain power. We made it through the kite moments without any actual drama and then we figured out how to turn our head without our body a couple of times. And she is looking to the bit for support. This was a really positive ride, and definitely helps me continue to be excited about our progress.