I had my lesson with KB today which actually went really well! I was preparing myself for another lesson of the same as last time since she was such a brat and I barely rode her this week (plus our week did NOT start out on a good note with rearing and such...)
Anyways, I had a perfect time for a lesson today at 2:30 so I got to go out to breakfast with a friend, then leisurely made my way to the barn where I already had the truck and trailer hooked up and ready to go. Jetta was pretty much all groomed, I just made some finishing touches to her mane. We had a semi-spa week in that I pulled her mane, trimmed her fetlocks and whiskers off, and banged her tail so she looks pretty spiffy if I do say so myself!
I lunged Jetta in side reins at the barn before loading up. Made it to KB's barn in plenty time so I watched the lesson before me. Jetta was very good about standing quietly in the trailer while we waited since the BO doesn't want horses tied to trailers on the concrete. Yes, I did say "quietly" and "Jetta" in the same sentence, lol.
When it was our turn to warm up I made sure to actually RIDE which I always have problems with in lessons. Sometimes I just end up sitting there waiting for them to tell me what to do instead of actually riding my horse and having them help me. Jetta was so much better than last time in terms of rooting.
Last time she was so obnoxious - pulling me out of my seat then tossing her head when I tried to get her more on the bit. It was a pain. No pulling for the most part this time! KB did say that she was "stiff" in the bridle but that it was oodles better than last time. She was only stiff occasionally though, and I need to remember to use a half halt from inside leg to outside rein to "unlock" her.
We worked on leg yields again which I've been working on since last time we saw KB - getting her neck straighter. They were near perfect to the left (just need to half halt on the right rein to get her to not brace), but to the right Jetta was anticipating the canter and over-bending. KB had me ask for her shoulders only so that she wouldn't get all upset and I found if I kept her neck straight, almost counter bent, and only used a tiny bit of leg then we'd get an acceptable leg yield without Jetta getting upset.
Canter transitions were better so I was glad we didn't continue to pick at those. We tried to work on Jetta's canter quality.
I feel like it's mostly because of how hard the ground is in that arena - it is an all-weather outdoor type of footing even though it's inside and pretty much rock hard - that Jetta just doesn't like it and isn't willing to move nicely on it. Anyways, she does need to improve the canter and she basically had us do exactly what we've been doing - counter canter loops and collecting/extending. It definitely works, but we knew that already :) Now to just practice it more! KB said that with Jetta's walk being a "9", her canter should be a "9" too, but right now (at her arena) it's more like a 6... Her trot is a 7 with moments of 8, but that will develop as her training progresses. I totally agree though and she said there's no reason she can't have a "9" canter too, we just have to work on developing it.
I think the only bad thing Jetta did in our lesson was for some reason to the left she was determined to run me into the wall. She just would not get off my right leg. Finally I turned her into the wall so she'd snub her own nose instead of squashing my leg and her front foot hit the wall, she spooked and ended up about 10 feet from the wall, staring at it like it had jumped up and bit her. Such a dork sometimes.
It was funny, KB asked if I had body clipped Jetta since she had seen her and I said no, but that she'd had her mane and whiskers done and she commented that Jetta looked "svelte". Haha, made me glad that after putting in all that work someone noticed! KB said she really likes Jetta and how could you not? Besides being a monster pony half the time, she does know how to look pretty adorable and kept giving KB cookie faces.
I was exhausted after our lesson with still being sick, but I survived. It's funny how that lesson - while there certainly wasn't anything spectacular about it - gave me such a boost. I CAN ride my horse and even after having some bad rides we can pull through with a good one. And it's making me look forward so much to our show at the end of the month! It might not be very good, but it will be fun!
Sorry for no pics, but there will be more tomorrow of her pretty face (minus the goat beard!) and if this post sounds a bit rambling... well, my excuse is that I might still be slightly feverish!