Watch and Learn

I got to the barn just as another woman was starting her lesson with Barbara.  She (we’ll call her Jan) leases an upper level schoolmaster owned by the barn and had been taken lessons from Bridget.  But Bridget is in Florida (lucky girl), so she’s switched over to Barbara.

Of course, I listened in as I tacked up and got on.  She was getting the same lesson that I have been getting – the basics.  Barbara even used the same exercise of the 15-m and 10-m circles at RSV & P.  I stopped and watched as Barbara gave directions and Jan tried to get her horse to half-halt around the turn and then go forward out of it.  I could see when he actually sat and how it affected his go and then when he didn’t.  Her horse and PJ react differently when they don’t do it correct.  Her horse got very heavy on his front end and in her hand.  PJ really just slows down instead of sits, and he never gets heavy in the hand (he curls his neck) when he doesn’t listen to my half-halts.  But when both horses do it right, they both sit behind and push off, lifting their front ends.

I also used Barbara’s instructions to Jan to help me even though I stayed at the other end of the ring.  When she told Jan to half-halt, so did I.  I actually got PJ going pretty well at the end.  Especially since he started out sluggish.  It really helped to listen and watch someone else ride and work on the same things as me but on a totally different type of horse.

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