The worst thing I can do about this blog post is not write it. Since I bought my first OTTB a year and a half ago, I’ve been thinking that I could blog about our training together . . . and she’s spent a year in pasture rehab, an overlapping 9 months trail riding, and now that it’s winter time and rainy I have turned to the indoors and begun some arena schooling. So before any more training sessions pass, I want to start recording my thoughts and observations here!
Today was our third arena ride; I think I’ll say this after every ride, but Luna was Awesome!! Our first arena ride consisted of a lot of bouncing and skittering and our goal quickly became “complete one lap of the arena actually walking.” This actually happened after about 15 minutes–which is good, because it’s all the time I had that morning.
Our second arena ride consisted of half the amount of bouncing and skittering, followed by at least one walking lap around the arena and maybe more.
Our third ride, this AM, consisted of almost no bouncing! In fact, I would say exactly no bouncing; just one skitter mid-ride, and a readiness on Luna’s part to start out walking and stay that way! I am so so proud of her; and I am proud and delighted for myself to be able to stay on and have success with her. So far I have taught her: the one-rein stop; walk is an actual gait; and two-rein contact means give to the bit (tuck your chin) and back up.
I didn’t teach her all this in three rides. We learned the one-rein stop and tuck and back up on trail rides, and she also learned to walk on the trail, but we were usually with other horse’s whose butts could conveniently be used as brakes. So it’s a whole different deal to learn what we do when we are alone/not following someone, in an arena. Before our first arena ride, I fretted a little bit over what precisely I should focus on for her training, but now I know: as a good horse friend told me since, “Luna will tell you what you need to work on.” Just walking turned out to be our right and perfect goal.
And we’re blogging!