I wasn't planning on going to the barn yesterday, but I got a phone call around 3:30 from our trainer that (insert name that I can't remember here) was going to be coming by the barn. He's from Holland and did big time hunter/jumpers and now dressage. I guess he goes all over now doing clinics. Hell if I can remember his name. I'll edit when I can remember. Anyway, the price of his lesson was 60$, and my trainer asked me if I'd defray the cost for Denali's lessor so that she could take a lesson with him. I said sure, and that I'd check with my husband and then be out.
I learned a lot of different ideas from him. Things I didn't know, such as what side the buckle faces on the reins. I had no idea. Denali's lessor hooked her up to lunge her, and as she was doing that he said, "why do you do it that way?" (through the bit, up and around the poll, and connected to the other side.) I was afraid that my trainer would pull out the, "I've been saying that's not the way to do it" but she didn't and said that's how she taught us. He told us that with an OTTB you shouldn't put pressure on the bit, because they are trained to go faster. He put the lunge line through the bit and then attached it to the nose band on the other side. I still have visions of her freaking out and breaking my new expensive bridle. I guess it makes sense. He also said he hates bridles without flashes. He said you need it to help support the bit in the horses mouth. Well, my new one does not have a flash, and I'm not running out and buying a new one so she'll deal for now. He also wanted a thicker bit for her mouth.
He was very critical, he said Denali should only be working on walking collected on the bit until she doesn't walk like a drunk horse. Once she's accomplished that then move up to trotting, but not until. He kept picking on Denali's lessor. Poor Lessor! I kept laughing, and felt horrible for doing so, but I was just so thankful that it wasn't me on the horse.
He hopped up and rode Denali for a little bit (without a helmet, I thought I was going to die.) He said she was a very quick learner, and that she a very smart horse with a perfect dressage neck. I love hearing good things about my horse. He was very surprised where I got her and impressed with how she looked. I can't take any of that credit, her lessor put all her muscle on her.
I asked him about my new saddle, he said it fit her well, but by looking at me it wasn't going to fit me. I know that, it fits good, just not perfect. I had a hard time keeping my knee in the right place naturally on Saturday. I had to work really hard on that, but it will work for the next few years. I still feel better in it than my Harry Dabbs. I just never felt really secure in my other saddle. Once I start riding more and more, I will look into a different saddle. I mentioned through e-mail to my husband that I'd like to save for a custom saddle, but that's not going to happen, if ever. It's hard to explain to someone who isn't into horses that you'd like to drop $3,000 on a saddle when you already have to pay $500.00 + each month just for board. He'd probably feel better if he got the meat from the cow that the saddle was made from. Regardless he'd be proud of me this month, I just got our credit card bill and it's $1,000 less than normal. See honey! I do save!
Denali did spook when her lessor got off. I still think I freaked her out when I hopped off on Sunday, and that she's having flash backs to me coming off of her screaming my head off. I guess we'll need to work on getting on and off, and on and off until she decides that it's okay. I was worried that it had something to do witht he saddle fit, but this guy (who's name I don't remember) got off slowly and quietly, and she was fine. I think it's the noise of hitting the dirt that reminds her and freaks her out. Does that make sense?
On May 2, I'm taking a saddle fitting clinic. I called the tack store here yesterday to talk about saddles and saddle fit (because I'm super anal and I've been worried since last Wednesday about Denali and her new saddle, because apparently she was a PITA on the lunge line.) They send her to England and she said she's going to regurgitate everything she knows. I'm excited. I always like learning new things, especially when it comes to something so near and dear to my heart.
Other than that I was impressed with the lesson yesterday. Not too sure how Denali's lessor felt about it. She's been picked apart lately when it comes to riding and it makes me feel bad. I obviously want what's best for Denali, but I also want her to be happy to come to the barn. Not sure how much fun it is going to be to ride a horse who should only be walking. We'll see.
I have a bunch of pictures I wanted to post but my computer at home is on it's last leg. It's not working right at all, and that frustrates me!