This week’s lesson report

On Tuesday we had our last pre-horse show lesson. I opted for a private since I’ve had so few lessons lately and was thinking a little one-on-one would be beneficial. The only slot available for a private was 6pm, and I usually get to the barn around 4:15pm to avoid traffic, so I had time to kill. I cleaned some tack, put my new charms on Henry’s bonnets, tidied up his mane a bit, curried him a few times, and clipped him up. I was really itching to clip his legs to the knee/hock but he’s super ticklish about them and I was afraid I’d get halfway done and be screwed, so I restrained myself to just some coronary band and fetlock clean-up.

Bonnet charm and no more whiskers



I finally succeeded in wasting enough time and dragged Henry to the ring (“Mom, it’s hot, let’s just stay in here and eat cookies.”) and warmed up. Then we did a few quick and easy warm-up fences, a little warm-up course, then the jumps went up to 3′ and we did a few harder courses. One with hard turns, one with longer slightly downhill approaches (stay at one pace, whaddyamean?), etc.

There were a few main themes that emerged:

1) I really should make a decision and stick to it. Any decision. Just don’t sit there in fetal position and constantly change my mind and confuse the hell out of both of us.

2) My horse, although only 7 and pretty green, is well on his way to being a saint.

3) When I sit up and focus, it’s amazing how well things work out.

To the first point – most of the time I see a spot. Maybe not a great spot, but usually I can at least see whether I’m going to die or not. But when I don’t see anything, I have one of two standard responses: deer in the headlights or constantly changing my mind trying to make something happen. Way to go self, those are helpful. I can practically feel poor Henry down there rolling his eyes at me, wondering how he drew the short straw and got a speshul owner.

Which leads me to the next point… he is SUCH a good boy. He’s so content to do whatever you tell him to do – long, deep, angled, short approach, it doesn’t matter – he does it happily and without question. He never complains and never gets mad or upset when I’m wrong. He might not leave the rails up every time, but I’m glad he doesn’t because it makes me have to ride better. As long as you give him some kind of a reasonable chance to make it, he will at least try. His attitude toward it all is “Meh, it’s cool. You’re kind of stupid, but I’m used to it so no worries.”, which is such an awesome trait in an amateur horse. Unflappable is a great word for him. He keeps earning those halo points, and to thank him I just keep stuffing him full of an obscene amount of cookies. Seems like a win-win. I appreciate him a lot and hope I never mess up his innate desire to please.




As for the last point – one of these days I’ll make it through a whole lesson without forgetting a course or having a complete derp moment. One of these days.

He gets a light hack tonight then tomorrow morning we’re off to San Antonio!

14 thoughts on “This week’s lesson report

  1. #1 is the story of my life. Henry is such a good boy! Also, I was attempting to clip legs to the knee/hock and then I killed my clippers because I was too lazy to wash legs first. I’m basically an idiot.


    1. Also, I apologize in advance to the hunter gods about my horse’s fuzzy ears. Even when he was doped to the gills he didn’t want me to clip them. Normally they’re hidden under bonnets at shows so I don’t care. But everyone look away from the ears in the derby.


  2. Hi, I just started reading your blog! I totally do the deer in the head lights when I don’t see a distance. As much as I yell at myself to do something, really anything, I don’t. So, I feel your pain. Good luck at the show!


  3. I am the queen of oh shit I don’t see a distance.. Thankfully my go to is count and keep my leg on for support and pray (my) Henry picks a good spot lol!!

    Can’t wait to hear how the show goes!!


  4. Henry sounds like such a cool horse. Gotta love those generous jumpers.

    I usually wait til after a ride to clip legs. Less fidgety, more snoozy.


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