Last week, I rode Utah. He did not lose his mind, surprisingly, and behaved well during the lesson. We did the same weaving pattern as we did the week before, and Utah did not respond to my leg, which was predictable. We also worked on posting the trot around the entire arena, and Utah got excited enough for me to have to circle him several times to slow down. We loped using the whole arena, and Utah also got overexcited. I ended up loping him in a circle about the size of the normal amount of space we took to lope when we didn’t have the whole arena. I had lost both of my stirrups during it, so I had to grip on with my legs while trying to steer him in the circle.
Yesterday, I was assigned Smokey again. I had to get my stirrups shortened a lot, and the cinch had to be tightened a lot before I could walk him into the arena. When I did walk him into the arena, I was one of hte last people to get in. I finally finished warming him up at the walk, and posted his trot both directions to warm him up.
We did some pair work, since so many of the horses in our class did not behave well near other horses. Whenever Smokey pinned his ears back, I would have to give him a smack with the end of my reins. We did fairly well eventually. Once, Smokey pinned his ears at Utah and Utah’s rider and I had to both get our horses under control. We tried partner riding at the trot, and Smokey still pinned his ears, but not as much as earlier.
After we separated from working in pairs, we made a circle of four horses tracking left and five horses tracking right on the inside. We did a posting trot around, and we were to smack our horses if they ever pinned their ears back at any other horse. I was put on the outside the first time, until we switched and I was tracking right on the inside.
Then, all but two people trotted on the inside while the two people on the outside loped the opposite direction as everyone on the inside. I was in the first group of people loping. I split my reins and asked Smokey to lope. He did lope, but he picked up the wrong lead. He didn’t turn when we got to the side of our riding area without a rail. I loped another circle and then brought him into the inner circle.
The same thing happened going the other way, except he did not try to run off this time. He did almost take out Kat’s feet along the rail when he loped right along the rail, though.
We cooled our horses down a bit before doing one last exercise. We had to our horses as slow as we could, with or without stirrups. I dropped my stirrups and was able to get Smokey into a pretty slow jog, around the same speed as Jupiter’s normal jog. We changed directions and did the same thing before cooling down our horses. I gave Smokey almost the entire length of his reins and let him walk around the arena.
We dismounted and got to spend a few minutes with our horses before going up.