Sunday, May 9, 2010

Linda Lessons Again!

Home safely and settled in from Wellington, things are back in full swing at Idlewilde (Linda Zang's Davidsonville location) and that included hacking Morris over for his first lesson now that we are neighbors! (The route involves the hills and hayfields pictured above, absolutely gorgeous.) I am so thrilled to be working out of my new facility at Kaleidescape, my horses are so happy and my schedule is really coming together spending most of my day either at the barn up the hill or down the wallet is loving the savings on diesel ha ha ha. The day started as a fun Saturday with plenty of time to spend on the horses and I had invited some sponsors to come over and watch Morris in action and then head out to lunch. As the storm clouds and black skies rolled in, however, we switched gears and just started flying thru horses and the next thing I know I am on the cell phone trying to tack up Morris in 5 seconds and get back over to Linda's arena before Armageddon set in. Morris was absolutely disgustingly dirty and I am currently without a groom -so if you are reading this and seeking employment please inquire :) - and trying to give directions and it is a touch confusing and not exactly what I had imagined my lesson preparations to entail. The pressure was on a touch, after spending nearly 2 months with Linda in Wellington neither she nor my other coach, Jim Lewis, had seen him since early January and I wanted to make a good impression.
Morris is such a trooper, walks out a random gate and heads across country and arrives in Linda's beautiful arena acting as though he did it yesterday. At this point it looks like we might be spared the worst part of the storm, and plus now I was on and in lesson mode and that was the last thought I gave to my surroundings. Morris picked a really good day to behave well and remember all the things we had been working on for the past 3 months! He warmed up well and went through our normal walk/trot routine with Linda observing and the first medium trot that I did was actually above average, good boy! As always Linda was right on my case about my position, no matter how well you do something there is ALWAYS room for improvement. We then went right to work on the parts I feel are weak for us at the moment: my haunches in at the trot, my canter-walk transitions, and my rein-back. There were no more walk breaks for the rest of the time, we had some work to do and Linda was making real progress! She is so positive even though her expectations are high and you know me, I hate to disappoint. After all of the canter work we went back to a little sitting trot and Morris busted out with the best extended trot he has ever done in his life!
I was assigned a significant amount of homework. 50 canter walk transitions, every day, each direction (you think I'm kidding?!). Halting with out back up. Halting with backing up. Keeping a stronger, more correct position in my sitting trot is going to allow Morris to perform a better haunches in, and let me tell you that is a lot easier said than done. I started working on my assignments with the very next horse! The next victim was poor little Freddie, who had to rise to the occasion and pull off the 5 year old version of my lesson and serve as my guinea pig with my new and improved way of sitting. I don't think that Freddie really cared, actually, one way or the other. He is happy to have a job and is really getting in to his routine now that he has been with us for about 3 weeks now. He does win the bravery award for the day...all those black clouds that went through never produced more than a couple of splats of rain; however they were followed by 30 mile an hour winds at least! Not one, but 3 jumps blew down during the ride and Fred, although concerned in the moment, stayed focus on his ride and had a significant breakthrough on how to handle those lanky legs of his around tight turns. Good boy!
Looking forward to Monday when I can recreate everything on Morris, gave him the day off today since he had a big week last week, 2 jump sessions plus a cross country school plus a Linda lesson - which should really count as a conditioning day on the schedule for both Morris and I! Hoping that the winds will die down by then as well and Freddie can go out and actually jump some stuff, wouldn't be fair to aim the baby at moving targets!

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