Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Game Plan

I had my lesson yesterday, despite Mother Nature's efforts to rain us out. The rain came in waves, so we managed to work around the heavy downpours. Lilly was a lovely little girl for her entire lesson. I knew she would be! I wanted her to throw a tantrum and show Rob that she really isn't the perfect angel he thinks she is, but she complied 100% with everything I asked. She walked nice and slow and carried her head at a nice level for most of the ride. We worked a lot on me, and my tendency to look down at her poll the entire time I'm riding. It sure is hard to break bad habits! I need to sit tall, look where I'm going, and breath! Rob told me to pretend I'm the queen of a kingdom and I'm parading around in it, sitting tall and proud. It is actually a good visual for me, and I'm certainly going to practice it. I've got lots to work on before next Tuesday when he comes out again.

Of course, I mentioned Lilly's behavior over the weekend to Rob and we worked through some scenarios. I had already ruled them out but listened to him anyway. I value his opinion and he knows her pretty well. Some of the things he mentioned sounded to me like issues that would cause her to act that way every time I rode her, or at least more frequently than just for one 3 day weekend. I think she was just being a brat. No excuses, no tack problems, and no hormonal problems, just a brat. We decided the best way to test everything out was to have an outing on the trail with Lilly and a couple other horses. I'm hoping I'll be riding someone else's horse and Rob will be riding Lilly.

He also mentioned that he thinks I'm being a bit too "precious" with her. He said she needs my support and guidance and I need to make sure my cues are precise and clear to help her learn. He thinks she might not be getting the support she needs from me, and that she has decided to take over for the both of us and is just doing as she pleases. I can see that, so I'm going to work on that as well. She is my baby, and I've been treating her like one.

I told him about her backing skills and he is a bit concerned that she's using them for evil, rather than good. She's using it to evade me and said he'll work on that some next week when he comes out. He gave me some exercises to possibly improve upon that as well.

I'm still upset at her behavior over the weekend, but she seems to be my sweet Lilly again. I just wish I knew why she acted the way she did, and maybe we'll get some answers when we take her on the trail.

And on an unrelated note, Gwen should be sending me some photos she got during Lilly's time with Rob. I heard she's got some really neat ones, so once I get them, I'll post a few. They're also using a picture of Lilly on their flier, so he's supposed to send me one of those as well. My girl is famous! I can't wait to see them!

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