Here there be dragons...

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

Green on green prepares to bring home red...

So I taught one of those lessons last week that leaves you stunned, thinking “I can’t believe I just saw that happen” even hours later. Now there’s two ways that can happen – stunned good and stunned bad. Fortunately for me I tend to experience the former more than the latter, but neither is common. This one was of the stunned good category. N I went home and emailed the story to a friend who I knew would get it, cause, well, some things have to be shared :) I thought about blogging it, but my school’s small enough right now that I couldn’t blur the details enough to protect the innocent so debated whether that was a good idea... Finally occurred to me to just ask relevant student (who I’m pretty sure still doesn’t have a clue how impressed I really was – although she might be getting one right about now ;) if I could write about her lesson n she was all for it.

Alright, so we all know that green on green is not generally a particularly good idea. Now in this case the combination of green horse – The Jackasaurus, who is the always tricky combination of both incredibly smart and very athletic. And green rider – his part boarder who is also very athletic, and only a pale shade of green... She’s right on that level I find so entertaining to teach – has the basics of w/t/c/jump down but comes from hunter world and has really very little concept of flat/dressage/seat/contact/etc. Not for lack of trying, but she’s only just at the point where she’s ready to learn it.

So usually in their lesson we do basic flat and basic jumping and it’s well within both their comfort zones so green on green is a non-issue. But it was “dressage day”. Oh my. Student has never so much as sat in a dressage saddle before, and I can count on my fingers the number of times Jack has been schooled properly. As I’m planning out my lesson, I’m thinking it’ll be more of an intro-to-position type lesson. How to sit, how to ride with the longer leg, proper balance, etc. Very necessary, very effective lesson that generally gets good results, but does not, in-fact, require anything that actually resembles dressage from the horse. Thereby easily eliminating one of the greens from the equation and putting us back in good-to-go status.

So we play that game for a while and student gets bounced around a bit trying to figure out how to sit. And Jack of course decides this is the perfect time to show off his power trot. Typical :) So I let them canter around for a bit to take a bit of the edge off and then went back to working the trot. So we do some work on rhythm, and a whole lot of bending, all the while working on that whole sitting idea when all of a sudden Jackasaurus became WarmbloodJack – my “beginner weight carrier draft” (yeah, that worked out real well) is suddenly floating around the ring, totally through and connected and powering from behind in this A circuit dressage worthy wb trot. And green on green is off to the Olympics. Hahaha yeah ok so that’s a *slight* exaggeration, but at least they won’t be laughed out of the dressage ring at the horse trials. If they can pull that off in competition finishing on their dressage score should end them at the top of the pack.

Had a good laugh though because as anybody who’s ever taught a horse to come through before is aware, when they first start learning to carry themselves properly, they can’t multitask. Which means you have through and connected OR you have gas/breaks/steering. But rarely both at the same time. So she had this lovely walk happening and couldn’t for the life of her get him into a trot. I can honestly say that’s not something I’ve ever had to explain to a rider who’s just learning feel before. Usually it takes a made horse (at least ONE of the pair should know what they’re doing!) for a rider to learn that skill. N Mr Jack was trying his heart out and not understanding what ELSE she could *possibly* want from him.

It was really amazing to watch. And has me pretty excited for them for show season :)


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