I had my first lesson with JLE today and to sum it up: AWESOME. We never moved off the 20 meter circle despite plans to jump but I would take that lesson any day of the week. We worked on getting contact with the outside rein and keeping Dandy straight on the circle instead of fishtailing out like he prefers. This is something I’ve worked on with other trainers but JLE really explained it in a way I connected with. I have to be aware of every aspect of his body every second, and I have to be constantly making corrections. I can’t have him bulge out and think “oh I’ll fix that next go around.” I have to fix it now. Which of course is something past trainers have told me, but JLE taught me how. When he wants to bulge out, I have to apply a half halt and a strong outside leg, almost yielding him over to where I want to be. When he wants to counter bend, I have to apply the inside.
It all sounds pretty basic when I type it out, but it just hit. Not to mention that with her guidance I saw some vast improvements. We even got some nice moments at the canter which I’ve never been able to get before. Next Monday we’re doing a jumping lesson. I’m super excited to show JLE what Dandy can do. She seemed to really like him and kept commenting on how nice he was and that once he muscled out he’d really be a looker. Hopefully that means good things for us!
As for the annoying habit… apparently Dandy is chewing on the wood around his stall and in his turnout. Ugh. They painted some nasty stuff on it but they’ve also decided to move him to a different paddock. He’s now going to be working up his tolerance to green grass in the best pasture in the house, the one that is normally reserve for JLE’s Rolex and hopefully future Olympic horse. Only both of them are out for the summer so the pasture is open. Apparently everyone has been asking to move their horse in there but since Dandy is the one chewing wood, he gets the special treatment.
Hmmm, I’m sort of wondering if this was his plan all along.