Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday Lesson on Missy

I got to ride another pony today. Her name is Missy, and she's a cute little chestnut. I kind of wanted to ride a horse like the rest of the class, but I can't complain. Missy and John T are both very nice, and riding ponies is something I don't have much experience with. I just don't get all of the jokes about demonic school ponies--I skipped that part and went straight to horses. In fact, I had NEVER ridden a pony until a few months ago, when Ellie offered to let me trot Spanky around bareback one night. 
I hated the saddle that I was riding in, though. I must complain about that. The seat was too small and too shallow, which is a terrible combination. It took me forever to get myself adjusted. First the stirrups were too short. Then, they were uneven. Then they were at my flatwork length, and I was happy. After I started around the ring, the instructor told us that we were going to be working two-point over poles. Therefore, I had to stop and adjust my stirrups again. Finally everything was fixed and I could actually ride. 
Trotting around was nice. Missy was an absolute giraffe, but I guess that's how they do it at this barn. I really feel like my shoulders are staying back. I'm finally sitting back again (I think my problem was that my stirrups were too short. Once the stirrups came down a hole or two, I started sitting back.), and everything is starting to feel right. Teresa keeps getting on me about my heels. They do need to go down a tad bit. Other than that, she hasn't mentioned any other equitation flaw more than once. 
We did a posting trot over the ground poles for a while, and then we did a two-point over them. I think Missy likes jumping. She did a little mini jump over the pole each time I went over in a two-point. I really had to keep her in check with half-halts because she wanted to rush the approach and departure. It was fun to work over poles again. I haven't done that in a while. I heard that Larry worked Stella over poles a few nights ago, so hopefully she won't be afraid of them come time for me to take her in Hunter Hack next season ;) 
We cantered one at a time today. While the rest of the class trotted, one person would canter, and then we would switch. I have to say that Missy's canter was nice. She picked it up easily, and it was nice to ride. Like John T, Missy really used her head to balance at the canter. She moved her head less than John T, however. Missy also stopped very easily. On the left lead, she got a little strong. I had to use lots of little half-halts to bring her back to me. She was very good at the canter, though. 
Missy didn't steer quite as easily as John T; she did steer nicely, but not quite like him. There was a big traffic jam up by one of the standards, so I circled off to avoid cantering into them. There was a maze of empty standards right where I was headed, but I was fairly certain that I could make it. Once I was there, though, my terrible depth perception (It's especially bad--and terrifying--when I'm driving.) told me that I might run Missy straight into a standard. Because I second-guessed myself, Missy broke. I picked up the canter again, but Teresa saw the break. After everyone had cantered, she called us over and told us what we need to do. She told me that I just need to avoid second-guessing myself. It actually made me feel pretty good. 
I think it was a pretty good ride. I'm excited now because we'll be jumping every Tuesday. I also learned that we can try out for the equestrian team at the beginning of next semester, which I might like to do. I didn't try out this semester because I wanted to see exactly what they're going to be teaching me, but now I really want to. 
I want to go see Stella. I also really want to go home this weekend. She needs a good workout, and so do I. 
EDIT: As an aside, I just ate a fortune cookie that Jean gave me. The fortune says "The wheel of good fortune is finally turning in your direction!" Oh, I certainly hope so.

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