Pair Riding

Yesterday, we had a sub. Donna, the substitute, let us choose whether we wanted to ride on the trails or do a lesson in the arena. We all chose to ride in the arena. She let us choose our horses this week, so I decided I wanted to ride Jupiter again. The trainee brought Jupiter up, and I mounted and got my stirrups shortened. I walked him into the arena, and he stopped and stretched out. He was beginning to get the same issue as Centaur- the peeing problem. I kicked Jupiter to go after waiting for a minute, and he lazily walked on.

He stopped to pee a few times, and I tapped him to keep going. I asked him to trot, and he went into a nice, western jog. I worked on reversing directions at the trot. We then were told to line up behind Olga, a student in our class. We had to figure eight around cones at a trot, in order to learn how to make perfect circles while riding in the arena. Everyone finished their circles, and we were then to lope once around the arena before doing the figure 8 at the trot.

I loped Jupiter around, focusing on keeping him at a good pace, not going into the center of the arena, and sitting in the saddle without jostling around too much. I slowed him to the trot, and weaved him around the figure eight pattern. I trotted him to the end of the line, and praised him for doing so well

We repeated the pattern, except this time we were to turn around and lope to the beginning of the pattern, do the figure eight, and lope towards the line and halt at the end of the line. When I was at the front of the line, I turned Jupiter around by doing a turn on the haunches. I waited for the person before me do the pattern, before I asked Jupiter to do a line. He tried turning into the center, so I pushed him out. He then moved back in, when turning. Donna commented on how beautiful my line was. I turned through the figure eight again. I loped around the arena, and halted Jupiter at the end of the line. I gave him a huge praise, and turned him around to face the same direction as the rest of the line.

After, we got to choose: did we want to explore the ranch and walk in the jumping arena/arena flats? Or did we want to stay in the arena and work in pairs?

The class voted for pair work, so we walked on and chose our partners. Olga and I immediately pointed to each other, and she caught up with me. She rode on the outside, since she was riding Chuck-E. We walked a few laps, also trying circles and reversing, when Donna told us to trot using the whole arena. I posted Jupiter’s trot, asking him to extend and speed up his trot while Olga posted on Chuck-E to keep him from darting off. We trotted around the arena, going at a good pace. We reversed directions and cut across the arena for more space, trying to stay on the other end of all the other horses in the lesson.

Someone else came into the arena, Nicole’s private lesson, and we all went back to our reserved half of the arena. We all went into the center of the arena and stood, listening to Donna’s instructions.

“Let’s try to see if you guys can lope in pairs or not. Olga and Vanessa, we’ll try it with you.”

Olga and I discussed what we were going to do, and I walked to the inside. We jogged around one end of the arena, and began to lope on the next side. Chuck-E and Jupiter both went into their speedy canters, and I practiced half-halts to slow Jupiter down. We both slowed down, and pulled back into the center giving our horses super long reins while praising them. Everybody else tried to lope in pairs, while Olga and I both praised each others’ horses, reaching over to pet them. We high fived each other, telling each other we both did great.

We got to lope again, this time going the opposite directions. We loped, tracking right. On one end of the arena, we were told to halt our horses. I sat as deep as I could, gave a slight tug on the reins, and said “ho”. Jupiter and Chuck-E halted in-sync. We gave our horses huge praises again, proud of what they did. We then cooled down, giving our horses long reins and dropping our stirrups. We all dismounted to the right, rather than the left, and cleaned the cones up. I led Jupiter up to the office, and headed back down to my mom’s car to go to the Japanese Market.

Photos will be posted tomorrow!


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