I had another lesson today (one on Thursday and one today). They were both really good! Through the tutelage of a trainer, it seems to have clicked to Gavin what is expected (to a point) and he seems relatively willing to comply *most of the time*. Thursday we had a couple iffy moments - one where I told him no, and he threw a tantrum about his sweet, easy-going mom telling him no and threw his body across the arena, eventually smacking his butt right into the wall. We bounced off the wall and did a lovely leg-yield. And one other time where his whole body was screaming "I'M GOING TO BUCK YOU OFF!!!". I laughed and told my trainer about the feeling and in classic trainer fashion she said matter-of-factly "He's going to buck, but you won't come off. Now canter." We cantered, he bucked one of his adorable, little pony bucks, I didn't come off, and we wound up having a nice canter.
Today we had a less explosive ride, but it was more about me than Gavin. *hangs head* I have some bad hand habits, and I wish I could just get over it and have steady, calm hands, but I feel like the more I worry about it, the worse they get. I'm posting a video of our ride today. It exemplifies the bumpy ride I'm giving Gavin's mouth, and I don't feel good about that. I will admit though, that though my hands look AWFUL - I am really pleased with Gavin. Cover the rider-up with your hand and just watch that beautiful pony go. Ugh! I compared this video with the last video of me and am really pleased. His reach underneath is shockingly different. If anyone has tips for steady hands, please - I'm all ears!
We worked on half-halts today, because as I've mentioned, Gavin sometimes will take me for a ride on the pony express. At first they were not only too much, but they were basically ineffective. I was just pulling. By the end though they were wonderful feeling. I'd squeeze lightly with my legs, squeeze lightly with my outside rein, and whisper "Gaaaavin" in my lowest voice. I could feel him just tuck up.
So what is going well:
- Gavin reaching under himself at the walk/trot/canter
- Transition into and out of canter is much improved
- Leg yields! We're doing 'em!
- I haven't been leaning in so much to the right.
- My hands! MY ELBOWS LOCKING!
- Right lead canter needs a lot of TLC
- Halt means stop moving your feet Gavin - he shuffles, this has been improving, but we want more!
- I still need to be more decisive when riding - stop worrying about if I make a mistake, and try stuff when the statue look isn't working.