8th June 2016:
Due to long work hours, I hadn't done a lot with Pea in the two weeks before my last lesson so wasn't too sure how it would go. He was a bit reluctant to get going on the lunge at first, but after a swift tap with the lunge whip he soon realised to get his bum into gear! He only lunges for about 5 minutes now before being ridden as he's learnt that we mean business and that I want him moving forwards.
We started on the lunge again and he had a small grumble and a lot of swishy tail syndrome (his tell for thinking about misbehaving), however a sharp tap with the whip soon made him switch into work mode and he went forward nicely. Walk is definitely his weaker pace in moving forwards as he will slowly creep into more of a shuffle so we worked on getting him to listen to my leg aid and produce a sharper reaction.
Half way through, Claire unclipped the lunge line and we worked on getting him forward by listening to me more but having Claire on the ground as a back up. This was rather nerve wracking I found as we were in the indoor so Pea couldn't drift too far away from Claire in case he tried any naughty tricky, but having concrete walls around makes it feel very enclosed!! It didn't help that each time we went past Claire, Pea tried to shy into the wall and raise his head like he was ready to bronc!
However, by the end of the lesson we both learnt to relax as I realised it helped to keep Pea forward and not tense and Pea realised that Claire wasn't going to flick the whip unless he didn't pay any attention to me! The first couple of canters on our own were slightly tense as I expected him to stop - not the right frame of mind! However, once I realised he wasn't going to try anything and relaxed in my lower back we had a much nicer canter and used more of the space resulting in fewer motorbike turns!
14th June 2016:
I think it's safe to say that yesterday's lesson is the one that really made me remember why I've stuck with 'the spotty one' and made me fall in love with him all over again! He hadn't been ridden since last lesson due to me being ill and only got lunged once on Sunday when we did some pole work.
As soon as I popped him on the lunge he was off and was the most forward he has been since starting lessons with Claire. I hardly had to ask for more out of him and he was so willing to go. We went straight off without being on the lunge first and he worked so hard! I'm now able to work out if he's giving me his all or if he's backing off a bit and needs a bit of a push.
Our canters were so much more relaxed and I actually felt really comfortable cantering him which I haven't for a rather long time! We had a bit of an issue in the left rein walk. He was rather sluggish in his walk and despite being tapped a few times with the whip he didn't give me enough of a forward response. This was where Claire stepped in and ever so lightly flicked the whip causing Pea to do a very nice walk to canter transition! A short pat and relaxing my seat bought him back to trot and we tried the walk again. He still wasn't as forward as I wanted in the walk, but a small tap with the whip resulted in a very nice trot. Not quite what I wanted but as we're focusing more on getting a forward response, it's not something we're going to hassle him over!
We cut the lesson short to just half an hour as he worked so hard and was puffing a bit at the end (he's got a bit of a grass belly and needs fittening up again!). I'm so happy to finally have a ride able pony again and fingers crossed the rest of the year continues in the right direction!
Thanks for reading,