I've had my first 2 riding encounters with my new instructor, and am now even more excited to be at the new farm.
Wednesday was a rainy rainy, but since the barn is 40-something miles from the lab, I figured I'd make my way out anyway. The weather cleared up beautifully, but there was a worrisome black storm cloud looming a few miles from the barn. I decided that since no one else was around, let alone tacking a horse, I'd go ahead and ride. (The indoor we have access to on M, T, W, and Sa is Small). Silly me forgot to check the other barn.. Christine was tacking up a very cool grey horse. She was kind enough to invite me into the indoor with her to ride. Since I was all tacked up at that point and it had started pouring, I accepted.
Addy was quite unhappy about the situation. She had never been in an indoor that *enclosed* before (the indoors in FL tend to be just covered, rather than actually indoors). Not to mention that the wind was making papers flutter on the wall (oh my!), the rain was pounding on the tinny roof, and a Big Gray Monster was being lunged (complete with whip popping noises) in the opposite corner. She sucked herself up into a little ball and did her best impression of a spring-loaded racehorse. Completely uncharacteristic for my pony, and not what I wanted Christine to see for her first ride. Oh well. I walked some circles, trying to keep her from exploding, and barely succeeding. When Christine was done lunging her horse, she climbed aboard him and then took control of the situation. Her coaching turned us from a bouncy ball of energy to a bent, almost supple, almost rhythmic pair in about 5 minutes. I was utterly amazed. Her biggest complaint was that I ride like I'm trying not to make any mistakes and "hurt" my pony. Which is spot on.
Yesterday was my first scheduled lesson with Christine, and it was too cool. Again, within minutes of Christine opening her mouth, my pony was a different animal. She bent better than ever, came properly through, and started tracking up under herself at the walk and trot. No work at all, except I actually had to Ride (ie: wrap my legs around her and ride her with my seat). I am completely confident that we have the right instructor to bring us as far as the pair of us can go. Yay!!