*huge sigh of contentment and relief*
So after whining about trying to find a trainer at my constantly changing areas of residence, I decided I just needed to grow a pair (not literally of course) and make a serious effort to find a trainer. I was fortunate in that a friend from home, that rides dressage, had moved to the area and gave me a recommendation. I called 'A', the trainer, and set up a lesson. Hoping to get one within two or three days of calling, I was a little surprised when she couldn't fit me in until six days later. This was perfectly fine, I am just going to have to be a little more organized when planning my lessons. Me trying to have an organized schedule....that's a new concept.
Finally finished pulling his mane. He wasn't nearly as happy about it as I was.
I was totally on schedule to get to my lesson on time. I had everything packed and ready, Beefs was groomed and good to load, and then security decided to be a pain in the ass. Before I go on, I should mention that Beefs absolutely hates the trailer. He loads pretty well usually, but not because he wants to. He doesn't throw too much of a fit when we're moving. It's another story when we're not. When we stopped at security, they wanted to check his tattoo (apparently it is a new policy). Fiancé told them he is a saddle/pony horse, not a racehorse. They insisted on seeing it. Beefs insisted on not showing them and threatened to completely freak out if the issue was pushed any further. Fiancé tells security it isn't happening. Security tells the fiancé that they won't make him unload Beefs to check the tattoo THIS time. My ass, we're going to unload him so they can check his tattoo! The horse was already pissed and if we had to unload him, he would have flown out of the trailer at a hundred miles an hour onto the gravel and then completely lost it. On top of that, I would probably have ended up getting fined for loosing it on security. I'm pretty laid back, but don't screw with my horses' well being.
Anyway, we got to the facility about five minutes before my lesson. We unloaded Beefs, who had fortunately calmed down, and I speed tacked and wrapped him. Um, hello new trainer. My name is Jodi and apparently I'm the inconsiderate jack ass that shows up late to put you behind schedule. Nice to meet you...
'A' was really tolerant of my tardiness. I got on and we started the lesson. Beefs was a little tense at first. He didn't like all of the commotion outside the ends of the arena (this is a super busy place). Even so, he didn't do anything bad and relaxed a lot quicker than I expected he would. He had a couple of very small spooks. The only thing that came close to setting him off was when the lady in the outdoor arena started chasing horses around with the lunge whip. It's a good thing I took Beefs, because if I'd been on Indy, I'd probably be in the hospital right now.
So, instead of going into every boring dressage detail, I'll say that it was a really good lesson. 'A' has a lot of experience with OTTBs. She gets how different they can be from warmbloods. She noticed the very slight stiffness in Beefs right hind and gave me excercises to help loosen and strengthen him. 'A' is more of a fix them through finesse than muscle them type and didn't try to make me do anything through force. She recognized his work ethic, that he is really trying to understand what we want from him and encouraged lots of rewarding. She noticed the problem with my left leg, which still isn't listening to me no matter how much I tell it to work. I really liked her and am looking forward to my next lesson.
1. Riding squares at the walk with turns on the forehand to get Beefs crossing better and more manuverable in the hind end.
2. Trotting squares, lengthening going straight and collecting before the corners to get him sitting more.
3. Spiraling in and out on the circle to get him bending and stretching through the outside of his body better.
4. Keep working on getting him to reach down and forward to the bit.
5. Keeping my left leg working.*sigh
6. Make sure that I don't break in my right wrist. Yeah, that's a new habit I recently picked up. Figures.
7. Lots of shoulder fore.