Thursday, May 7, 2009

Our First Lesson!

Red and I the day before our lesson.

After talking about it with my neighbor, we decided it was time. We went to my neighbor’s who is a dressage instructor and Red and I both got our first dressage lesson! I didn’t lunge him before because I was running late, though I did just ride him yesterday and it was near 80° outside. I also didn’t wear my eventing vest and the lesson was over at the neighbor’s arena, so Red got to see a new place. Apparently I was feeling brave. As usual, things went really really well!

My equitation needed some work and I was happy to have someone else observe Red and give me a few pointers with him. My hands were open on the reins, I wasn’t maintaining constant contact with Red and moving with him, my elbows were out to the side, and I was not pushing my weight down into my heels (whew!). We worked on walking, trotting, and cantering in both directions. We worked on transitions and having Red respond to my leg and keep his head in front of his body rather than look around all the time.

Red’s sides are either dead or he doesn’t care, because I can kick the you-know-what out of him and it doesn’t phase him. We did a lot of work on walk-trot transitions and got him to respond pretty quick after a few tries. When it came time to ask for the right canter, we had to get the crop. Some horses freak out if you just hold a crop. Some get tapped with it once and they come to. Red can get smacked and smacked and it doesn’t really have any effect on him. He would make a great kid’s horse, that’s for sure. He is so loving and carefree.

But long story short, the lesson went really well. I have a lot of things to work on myself and I got to see a little of Red’s potential. He responded well to constant contact and he did a good job himself of maintaining it and not looking around, throwing his head up, or diving. By the end of the 2-hour lesson, he was going around really well and I was exhausted, but very pleased.

Ryan loves Red, and Red loves Ryan.


  1. How wonderful! Great pics!

    I was showing your blog to John's parents when they were over the other day! They just love what you have accomplished with Red so far!

  2. Thanks! It's wonderful to have so many friends behind us during this process!