June had her second foundation training lesson and the difference between this lesson and the last were monumental.
Our trainer, Dana, started the lesson by having me show her what we’ve been up to. Now, anyone who takes lessons is familiar with this test. The trainer is essentially seeing if you did your homework.
And, well, I LOVE homework, and was super excited to show her what we had been up to, as well as get some feedback on some struggles.
While I had been diligent about doing my homework, I’d also been trying to problem solve some issues. Dana assured me that my instincts were correct, and we were moving in the right direction.
She was also super impressed with how much progress June had made. Not only in our homework but physically as well. She kinda looks fit from all the trotting and transitions we’ve been doing.
We ran through what we’ve worked on, and then were able to move on and add some new things. Dana is awesome with June. Everything she does with her makes sense to me, and she is just a really good horsewoman and so solid in her ground work training.
June was so good. She thought about what was being asked of her, and there wasn’t any “NOW I RUN YOU OVER” moves, which was REALLY lovely.
And I even got to work with her on some of the new stuff and it wasn’t a total disaster! Where I have my body in relation to what I am asking is so important. I’m learning that a good deal of June’s confusion comes from me either not asking correctly, or my body blocking her. It’s getting better though!
At one point Dana had to ask me to be more subtle. I about fell on the ground laughing. Sarah says this to me ALL THE TIME. And my response to Dana was the same as it is to Sarah: “I can’t be subtle. That’s why I didn’t get an OTTB.” Yeah, I’m German. Subtilty isn’t in our genes.
Nearing the end of our lesson Dana wanted to head over to the arena, and out of the round pen. I had no idea what we would be doing over there, as neither June or I are ready to work outside of a small space.
But we were going to work on walking over a bridge! Yay! Dana had me start. Walk with purpose over the bridge.
It was a big fat fail. So… Dana tried. And had no problem getting over the bridge. She told me to have more control of June’s nose and shoulder. The rest will follow.
She then proceeded to send her over the bridge.
I was basically all smiles the entire time. I feel like June and I are slowly growing a connection. I had no idea foundation work could have such an impact on me as a rider. It’s building my confidence and showing me how important it is to ask for things from the ground before asking from her back. Plus, we’re making June stronger so that she can carry me and do everything we’re asking her to do once I’m up there. We worked a bunch on yielding from the shoulder, bending, and turning her haunches. She was game for all of it, and was well-behaved for all of it as well. I’m really excited as to how things are progressing with this sassy mare, and am excited for our next lesson!