We're preparing for Tax's show this weekend and I had a lesson with his trainer last night. It went pretty well. This is the first time I have ridden him in spurs for my lesson and it was good. I get to do a lot less work and focus on myself because he really listens to my leg. The jumps on the side of the arena still continue to be VERY SCARY so it was nice to have that extra encouragement. Especially after I explain this next event...
We were working on trot-walk downward transitions because I'm only riding in a walk/trot under saddle class and we really want to get them solid. When our trainer asked me to execute our first downward tranisition we were right next to the scary jump so I took a second to prepare; lengthing my leg and tightening it slightly to push him into my hands so he couldn't pull me forward like he likes to do. Everything was going well so I asked him to slow...and he tripped. He's a bit of a clutz with those long legs and I have a feeling his attention was still slightly diverted to the said horse eating jump. The good news was I had remembered to sit back for the transition so when he started scrambling my seat felt secure. I lengthened my reins just enough to give him his head as he tried to find his balance without throwing him away. I remember thinking, it's okay, I'm here to help but I don't want to get in the way. I even managed to keep my spurs out of him as I relaxed back into my seat. As he scrambled I felt his body start to go down. All of a sudden I was at least a foot closer to the ground which oddly made me feel a little better. He scrambled down the line so long I had time to think...oh he's got it, nope I'm pretty sure we're going down...no, he's... And then we were up and he craned his neck around to check me out as if to say, "woah, mom, what the heck just happened?" He fought so hard to stay up keep me on his back I never even felt anxious. How do you not love that?
I gave him a minute to relax telling him what a good boy he was and scratching his neck. Walked him over to the trainer to check his legs which were fine. She said he must have scrambled for at least 12 feet and praised me for sitting back and riding it out. I loved that it didn't scare me at all because I felt him fight so hard not to hurt us.
Our next time around the arena he was pretty convinced those jumps had something to do with his almost fall. I could just see it in his eyes. "Did you see that thing come over here and TRIP me?" Silly boy. We got back to a nice relaxed trot. A couple of more transitions and reverses at the trot and called it a day. We'll see how it goes tonight. Never a dull moment!