Here there be dragons...

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

My first real discussion with Lexi...

Yesterday Lexi was *spun* - more so than I've ever seen her.  So I let her run around and buck and play in the arena for a while, then lunged her properly and *then* got on -- but by that point, she'd already worked so all I did was walk her for a bit to cool out.

Sok - I try to alternate lunging days and riding days, so I figured today I'd ride.  I also thought she might be slightly tired after yesterday - which'd be to my advantage.  But when I brought her in and she was still too high to stand, albeit nowhere near as spun as yesterday, so I did a mini-lunge session.   Just enough to take the edge off really, and then hopped on.  All good.

She did the walk warm-up beautifully.  Forward and even occasionally into contact (this is still a new game for us). Go ahead and ask for the trot.   "No."  Ummmm excuse me?  Trot please.

I swear if that pony had a middle finger it'd be waving around in the air.  Her head came up so high I feel like the only thing that stopped it from walloping me in the face was the peak on my helmet - mental note, do *not* lean forward!  hahaha And I'm thinking huh, this is *not* a good situation to be in.  So what do I do?  I can't back off -- if she learns this behaviour is an option, I'm royally screwed going forward.  And she learns *fast*.  Remember the liverpool?  Sheesh.

Well she knows and understands the aid and is very clearly choosing to reject it.  I don't have anybody on the ground to chase her forward from behind.  But I do have this lovely long dressage whip...  Grab bucking strap with one hand - just in case :) After all, falling off will definitely not help the situation and I *know* this mare can buck - I've seen it multiple times from the ground, but she's never yet tried it with me on top. So all set, I informed her that leg aids are not negotiable.

Ummm yeah - about that.  Straight up.  Wasn't terribly surprised (there was a reason I hung on!)  *sigh* Thankfully, she's still really unconfident with a rider up so while her buck was a reasonable height, it had no power behind it, and there was only one.  Which promptly got her told again and she shot forward into a lovely balanced canter.  hahaha which was not technically what I was going for, but I said forward and she went forward so I wasn't going to be too picky about the details.

So bring her back to trot and next time we hit the same spot she hits the breaks, throws her head up and sits on  her butt.  Ummmm no, methinks not.  Even before she's finished contemplating this move I've followed up and she bucks again -- but shoots forward immediately after.  Such at teenager.  I swear it was the horse equivalent of stomping off and slamming a door.

Next time around coming to the same spot, she hesitates -- but when I closed my leg - she went forward!  Woohoo!  And I'm all proud of myself and my superpony and all is well with the world till we get to the exact opposite side of the ring.  And I find myself looking at her very cute little ears that are pinned backwards and in my face, hearing the tail swish, and feeling her preparing to launch.  *sigh*   Apparently respecting aids is location-specific.  Rinse and repeat above paragraph.

After *that* however there were no further challenges.  We had walk, trot AND canter in *both* directions.  And the right canter was incredible!  Wow - usually that one's really hard for her but she was forward and had her back up and just all-round superstar.  There *might've* been a buck in there too, but it was very much an excitement thing not a bratty pony thing.  hahaha  But what really had me grinning was the trot - forward and really through and connected.  Her back was up and we had tons of lovely suspension.  Soooo nice.

So we ended up with the best movement I've ever felt from her and her consistently going forward every time I put my leg on.  So yeah, I'm pretty excited about that :)

I haven't had this type of challenge before and I finally clued it to the fact that I've always backed them at two.  hahaha at two they're like a six year old child - super eager to please and willing to do anything.  hahaha so start them then, give them a year off.  Ride them a bit at three.  A few more months off.  Then start for real at four -- but by four, when they turn into horsey teenagers, they already have all the basic ground rules installed.  This one?  Not so much *g*   We're starting with teenager.  Teenager who's had the ultimate life of leisure up till now.  hmmmm  She gets tomorrow off -- will be interesting to see what part of today's adventures gets remembered on Thurs *g*

Lexi was *very* tired tonight for some reason...


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