Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

1st lesson

So this morning was our first official lesson. Getting ready to go out -- w/ enuff time to w/u but not so much time that Cayman will be tired b4 Denny gets there (C's really not very fit @ all). As I'm getting ready to bridle Denny walks in the other door "so you're going to lunge him for a bit first right?" ummmm yes, yes of course I am! hahaha well as of this second anyways! "And you'll be lunging properly... With a lunge whip." Absolutely! Message received loud and clear. But @ least that implies he knows that I know how it's supposed to be -- at least he didn't feel the need to give me a "how to lunge" lesson. So that's a start. By all accounts the lunging focus goes away once Denny's convinced the horse is sane. WAS in fact an option today, but the kind of option where you know what the 'right' answer is :)

So I dutifully go out and lunge him. He couldn't care less. However this HAS eaten up my w/u time, which meant Denny came out JUST as I was getting on. N thankfully Cayman was still good after yesterday and was cool w/ just walking. I got the extended lecture on that - simplified it boils down to "the horse must ALWAYS be relaxed when the rider is on. And EVERY ride is started and ended w/ a loonnnggg walk." Ok sobeit. I'm not sure of the practical viability of convincing a spinny horse in the XC start box to relax, but I'm sure I'll learn :) So Cayman is walking around -- not exatly the txtbook definition of *relaxed* but at least it's a walk when we get the theory portion of the lesson. "So what do you know about the dressage training pyramid?" Oh shit... Of COURSE I know the pyramid. Well I know OF the pyramid anyways ;-P Once upon a time I KNEW said pyramid but do you think I can recall it at this instant?!?! hmmmm well if you're going to be wrong, be wrong w/ confidence: "Relaxation, Suppleness, Contact . . ." fortunately he stoped me there right about where I wasn't sure which step was next (and getting it in the wrong order would be bad. Very very bad.) so I lucked out w/ that. So he went on to discuss the practical applications of said pyramid and how most people get it all wrong :-} Then (now you have to understand, we're still WALKING :) it's "so how much German do you speak?" ummmm yeah that'd be a big-fat NONE. Well do you know the Germand concept of Durchlassigkeit (and yes I looked up how to spell that)? -- YES! Woohoo finally one I can answer :) Thank You German Coaching System handbooks! So we discussed that for a while. I brought all of 4 horse books w/ me out of my library, the 4 I thought were most likely to come in handy. Looks like I guessed right -- they include both the intro and advanced German txt books :) Sometimes I get lucky. N you can guess what I'll be reviewing the next few days. hahaha

So all of this discussion gets applied and Cayman is finally allowed to trot. Woohoo. And thanks to the fact that he's done a hell of a lot more dressage than I ever have he even tried to make me look good! Nice and soft and through and round. Has NO strength @ the moment, but that'll come. Denny deemed him to be "a really nice horse" -- so I was pretty thrilled at that. Of course it came w/ the codicil "I hope he can jump." hahaha Me TOOOOOOOO!!! I get the impression we'll be finding out about that soon. Lesson was AMAZING. Not a hard workout physically (although I suspect that'll come once Cayman is fit enough) but man I haven't thought that much since my last calc exam. hahaha every coach I've had has yelled at me for "thinking too much" -- this one, every 2 seconds was quizzing what we talked about earlier and making sure I'm applying/understanding what he's told me -- while still adding in all the traditional corrections inbetween. Although to be fair I suspect that will be phased out once I prove that I understand and can apply his system -- what I've seen of his other lessons he still asks tons of questions but not nearly w/ the same intensity.

As for Cayman -- he did well. He was lazy @ spots and silly @ spots (he's learned to spook already?!?!) but generally really really good. Then we went for a mini-hack -- but as I was alone and told not to take him anywhere he was even *slightly* hesitant about, we didn't go far. Mostly just around the little field by the sandring. But still, it's a start.

The most fun part w/ C today was this afternoon when he got turned out in a much bigger paddock for an hour or so (runs the length of the three smaller paddocks and around the side) that has a reasonable hill on it, he had a blast galloping from one end to the other (and fast enough that I got asked if he was full TB!) hahaha woohoo!!! Clearly not tooo tired after his recent exertions! Pony can RUN. We *might* be able to make the times :) And he was having soooo much fun w/ it -- alert, head up, araby-type swishy carried tail, setting off all the horses in the mini-paddocks (brat!) and dancing around. Yet when I went to bring him in he came and stood quietly.

Anyways -- I was grinning from that most of the day. Off to read German handbooks now :-P Later!


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