In honoring my last post about having realistic expectations, I showed up to my lesson with Cooper in an optimistic mood. I told myself that he was the best school horse for me, and that I should be very glad to have something that will take care of me today. I also noted to a riding buddy that he was not my type of horse but that I need to know how to ride him. Not everything was going to go around like O or Dee did. Horse #2 may be more like him. I should be prepared.
I got the big giraffe all tacked up (so cute in his green extras) and headed to our lesson. Warmup was abbreviated to avoid the heat, and we started popping over a little x. There were a few ugly ones, usually when I pulled without leg support. While it was irritating, my trainer just had me keep coming around until I understood that the horse was going regardless, and that he prefers a nice release…so I should probably try that sometime.
We laughed (while I tried to recover from our 1000 attempts) and decided that while he goes around a bit like a giraffe, he really needs someone to be soft and offer a big release. My reaction is to whoa and try to get his head down, but he wants me to kind of toss him the reins. It really does boggle my brain.
We moved into some courses and while there were a few moments where I should’ve left the horse alone to do his job, it wasn’t totally ugly. We might of even had a few nice fences…dare I say it.
At the end of the ride I agreed with my trainer in that he is not the hero in my horse love story-but he has a lot to teach me. I think after this ride, the biggest win is that I could be grateful, and that I wasn’t obsessing in a negative sense. I went out, rode, and it was okay! It’s a step in the right direction both in riding Cooper and mentally handling my riding.