Thursday, January 19, 2012

More lessons with Mr. Bradley

Yesterday was cold, windy, cold ... so the perfect day for lessons with Stephen Bradley!  We were back at A Bit Better Farm, and oh so thankful for their sturdy indoor arena.  :-)

I didn't get to ride until later in the afternoon, and Miss Lissell was perfect.  She came in from the field with mud caked to every exposed surface, including her forehead (not sure how she did that one, and not sure I want to know!).  My Aunt Susan came out to watch and stepped in as super groom. While Lissell loooooves to get muddy, she hates to be scrubbed clean.  Susan seemed to have the magic touch that kept Lissell happy and got her clean.  Even better, I think I now have a groom for the spring season.  Yay! 

I was a bit nervous when I first got on, as Lissell felt like a coiled spring and kept shaking her head (never a good sign for good behavior!).  I was pretty sure yesterday was going to be the day that my horse would jump me clear out of the saddle just because she thought it would be funny.  But then I remember that Lissell is perfect, and it was all just awesome.  Now that we're jumping bigger, I have to work on staying with her in the air.  Thankfully my body mostly cooperates with my efforts, I just have to make a concentrated effort to release more in the air, land with my weight in my stirrups and shoulders up, and so on and so forth.  Practice, practice, practice, and then it will all be natural.  I hope!

A few highlights of the day were Holly coming over with Mr. Moosetracks for a private lesson.  They've been on a bit of a roller coaster lately, but I think they're on their was up right now.  Moosetracks seemed quite pleased with his efforts after.

The last lesson of the evening was Mary and Kelley on their Intermediate (soon to be Advanced??) horses Beast and Bomber.  It's so fun to watch these two horses go because they're so different, but both get the job done.  Beast is the firecracker, and makes us all giggle with her insane jumping efforts that make you realize why Mary has a neck strap on.  And Bomber is the cool, casual one. I love them both.

Here are a few videos from their lessons, including the incredible skinny barrel exercise:

Kelley and Bomber through the grid.

Mary and Beast through the grid.

Kelley, Bomber and the skinny barrel.

Mary, Beast and the skinny barrel.

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