So Miss Joy was a pain about getting in to the trailer, in hindsight I should of practiced a bit with her since it was her first time off the property in 2 years! We got to the barn a little late so my friend helped me tack up and we rode straight away. Joy was spooky and looky at first but settled down to work and we had a very productive lesson.
Sandi was great, taking time to ask questions about Joy and we talked a lot about the challenges and positives of doing dressage with Arabians and Saddlebreds. We did fairly simple stuff (circles, spiral circles, turn on forehand and haunches and looooooots of transitions) but focusing on Miss Joy using her body correctly.
Okay, things I learned.
1- Keep my reins the length they should be, so when she relaxes her neck and picks up contact they are the correct length. Fairly simple concept, instead of messing around with the reins just keep them "correct" (even if it feels awkward when she is doing a giraffe impression) and when she relaxes it is more comfortable for both of us.
2- Leg on! Joy is a hot horse, I generally ride with a relaxed leg and I like not having to motivate her constantly like you do with some really mellow horses. But in order to get her hind end under her correctly I need to be active with my legs.
3- Because she is so compact (seriously compact) circles are my friend, In a circle she has to focus a little to balance herself and I have the opportunity to get her working correctly. Getting her to reach under herself with her hind legs and stretch a little.
There is more of course but those points were the most helpful right now.
Now pictures, first lesson in 2 years! so no laughing.
|Start of lesson, OMG IM A PONY RUN AROUND NOW|
|start of lesson WHEEEE IM RUNNING AROUND|
|starting to relax|
|My fav picture, I don't look awesome but she is so soft and willing here.|
|Mid lesson, she has a neck!|
|working on bending|
Overall I'm super pleased and am definitely going to work on making this a monthly thing. Joy was awesome and happy to be working.