Let me start out the clinic post by saying that Courage and Diva are two of the most unflappable OTTB's I have ever been around. There is calm and then there is unload horse, bridle, get on, random loose arabian goes running past lead rope flapping, meh whatever calm. Win! *I got on Diva from an overturned bucket, this was quite the feat on a 17hh horse.
|After the loose horse was caught we ambled on over to join the lesson|
Before the lesson got too far underway we paused to sign a release form. Win number 2, OTTB stood perfectly still. After that it was back to work.
|Stand still and chat? No prob!|
|Head started a bit high|
|But it quickly came down|
|Like a boss|
|Looks like a postcard|
The only issue in the first part of the lesson was a super uncoordinated canter that I believe was due in part to uneven footing and in part to being a little sore from her pasture hopping shenanigans. After the clinician asked me about why my usually solid lower leg was flailing around (I had no good answer other than that on cloud 9 where I was residing on my calm princess I had forgotten that there were indeed legs attached to my body), I put my heels back down. The other thing she had me do was sit down at the canter and really make Diva carry me instead of cruising around in two point.
|But I like galloping position pictures better|
I had to keep squashing my 'I've only ridden crazy horses for so many years' self preservation response, Diva was stupendous, nary an ear flick at other horses. Even when one horse continued to aim for/narrowly avoid us while they cantered, she just stood with a hind leg cocked. In case you noticed the mention of walking a cross rail course above, here is the explanation. I set out across the field to the first cross rail when suddenly the trucks and trailers for the next group started pulling in. Diva was all, 'woah, jumps on hold, check out these new rigs, who is in them, what are they doing, am I still the best, does this rider make my butt look big, yeah yeah whatever forget the cross rail what if there is a cute gelding over there.....' finally I got her attention back and we walked around the course, trotting seemed to add too much to her lack of concentration.
|First poles for the lesson|
|and then the camera died so no walking xrail shots (I think this is a good thing)|
|Just standin' around|
Again let me mention not quite all fun and games. It took half an hour to get Miss Priss back in the trailer. It reinforced what we had discussed in the lesson, Diva needs a go button. Riding at home where there are minimal distractions I hadn't yet discovered this deficit, but put us in a new spot where maybe she doesn't want to listen and we literally get stuck like a mule. Yeah for projects.