On Saturday’s lesson, I finally rode a large warmblood/quarter horse who I hadn’t ridden in a long time. The last time I rode the horse, Lakota, was at last year’s Student Play Day where he helped me win first place in California Speed Barrels. We got to choose horses, and I decided that I hadn’t ridden Lakota in a while, so I decided to ride him for the lesson.
I mounted up, got my stirrups shortened a lot, and walked him down into the arena, steering wide around the other horses so Lakota wouldn’t be grumpy. I walked around the arena a few times, practicing halting. He seemed like Warren. He would not halt. He would slow down to a crawl and eventually slow down to a stop. Never a perfect halt. When I trotted Lakota, he went into his slow, smooth jog. His jog was so smooth, it felt like I was floating. I didn’t even have to worry about sitting his trot. It felt like I was sitting on a stable object that slowly moved up and down, instead of feeling like I was sitting on a spring like some other horses.
The class slowed to a walk, and we loped individually. On my turn to lope, Lakota went into the lope effortlessly. The hard part was steering him, since we were loping counter clockwise and he couldn’t pick up his left lead.
When everyone in the class finished loping counterclockwise, we halted, did a turn on the haunches, and we then loped clockwise. On my turn to lope, Lakota did not pick up the lope immediately, and did a death trot for a few strides (It was still really smooth) and then loped. When we were approaching the end of the short end of the arena, I used my left leg to turn him, yet he wouldn’t turn. We almost ran straight into the rail, when he made a sharp turn and I almost got unseated from the saddle.
We then lined up and did the Pole Bending pattern. I was something around second to last, so I sat watching the other horses do the pattern before it was my turn. On my turn, Lakota quickly trotted down the cones that represented the poles, and we had some issues in making a tight 180 degree turn and then weaving. I was told my reins were about… six inches too long. On our second round of pole bending, Lakota steered much better compared to the previous time. We loped down the end, and made a sharp turn and weaved with less effort. The only issue was that I could not get him to lope home.
We dismounted after, cleaned the arena of cones, and led our horses out back to the office.
NOTE: I am signing up for the student play day, which is coming up on the eighth of November. I will be participating in the CA Speed Barrels, Clover Leaf Barrels, and Quadrangle. I’m still unsure about the horses I should sign up with (I get three choices per event), so I was wondering if anyone could recommend a horse for me for Clover Leaf and Quadrangle. Comment Below with the event and horse I should sign up with! I also apologize for this being a few days late.