I left the sale early to head up to get Jetta for a lesson with TS. Of course I was running late so I just grabbed Jetta out of the stall and tossed her in the trailer. Thank goodness I had it hooked up and turned around the night before!
Mapquest, always the one for adventure, took me the back way to a barn which was what I wanted since it would have taken me twice as long to go up the interstate but wow! There were some major hills along the way so I'm glad my poor old truck was able to make it and my dad had just gotten the brakes redone because we needed it!
I had never been to this barn before but it was really nice. I wish there was something closer to me like it. Every stall had a matted run, there was a gorgeous outdoor arena, the tack room had a viewing window, washer and dryer, fridge, and was heated of course. I love my barn but there are just a few things I wish it had...
Jetta, of course, was a brat. I was really excited to show off to TS how well she was doing. Her trot is so nice right now and she had been such a good pony lately. But of course, Jetta is always the humbling horse. She was quite hyper and when we were warming up kept anticipating the canter and was trying to snatch the reins out of my hands which was unusual since she hasn't done that for the longest time. She was trying to run in the canter too. Basically she was just plain rude.
Fortunately though that didn't ruin the lesson. After TS admonished me for being too passive with Jetta and using some strong half halts to get Jetta to knock it off, we worked on using our corners in the trot to collect and rebalance as well as going deeper into them. We moved to the canter and did a little bit of counter canter, just doing shallow loops on the long side going from the corner to the quarter line and back to the other corner. Surprisingly Jetta did really well at this, I was impressed!
Back in the trot we showed off our lengthening. TS said it was a good start but that we needed a lot more. Of course it always feels like a lot when you're in the saddle but on the ground, she said there wasn't enough of a difference. Of course asking for more = running for Jetta so we went back to the strong half halts to let her know that that wasn't allowed and that when I sat back and asked for a return to the working trot she better do it right now! We finally got one spectacular one (to me it felt amazing) so we quit on that and started on lengthenings in the canter, where we're having more of a problem.
We just did a few strides forward, to a few strides back, really asking her to collect thinking "canter in place". To the left Jetta was really good and I felt like I was riding a real dressage horse! We got that "rolling" feeling where Jetta was uphill and lengthening her stride, not just going faster. Amazing! To the right it was much more difficult to get that rolling feeling though I finally achieved it by sitting back a bit and thinking up picking her up with my reins.
One question I had for TS, since she's a vet and chiropractor, is what is going on with Jetta's butt! Her right hip is almost an inch higher than her left hip. TS said Jetta has always been stronger on her right side, her gluteal muscle is just more developed. Jetta doesn't want to push off with her left hind so that's part of the reason that our canter to the right isn't as good as to the left. She said it's nothing to worry about because eventually she'll learn to use the left side more, it's just embarrassing I never noticed it before!
|Part of our problem...|
Despite Jetta's rudeness, I love how TS loves Jetta, as cheesy as that sounds. My parents don't particularly like her, in part I know because of how upset I get when I just can't get through to her and we have bad rides or I feel like I'm not a good enough rider for her. Plus my dad is convinced that mares are the worst and has always wanted me to sell Jetta. ML absolutely doesn't get along with Jetta either so she never quite believes me when I say that Jetta was really good. So it's nice to have someone that likes Jetta and believes in our potential.
TS always mentions that Jetta is going to make a great FEI level horse, in part because of her hard-headedness. TS knows my parents and knows that my dad doesn't like Jetta and today she said "You should be allowed to keep one great horse for yourself" since I'm selling Tux I guess. TS hasn't seen Jetta since the beginning of summer which is kind of neat in that she gets to see the differences in Jetta that you wouldn't otherwise see if you were working with us on a regular basis. She loved Jetta's trot that despite being a bit rude was still very nice and she praised our canter too.
I took Jetta back to the barn and hurried home to change for the next phase of my day. TS was giving our team a presentation on horse biomechanics, using Dr. Gerd Heuschmann's video. We had it at one of our member's really nice homes which was great because she had a movie viewing room with a projector and everything so it was perfect. We made it a potluck (I made chicken lasagna the night before) so it was a fun night with everyone just talking about horses... well, and cats too. They had an adorable cat that was so fun to watch.
Overall, it was exhausting but you can't beat a day filled with horses! And I applaud those of you who made it to the end of my little novel :)