Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lesson Time

Rhys is my stallion here, however, since all of my other riding horses are on maternity leave at the moment, sometimes, he doubles as my lesson horse. Lessons are always private and I always check in with him prior to having a rider, (and again, *disclaimer* - I don't recommend anyone just head out and give lessons on their stallions). Rhys and I seem to have a special relationship and have spent countless hours, although I'd say the time should be counted more in weeks by now, working together and feeling each other out, so I'd say, at this point, I know him pretty well.
Prior to a lesson, I do a ton of ground work reminders with him, what Clinton Anderson would call Lunging for respect, lots of direction changes, gait changes, giving his hind quarters or for quarters, etc... I also hop on myself, and check in that it really is ok for him to have a student that day. Part of my riding I go over a ton of things and explain to said student what it is I'm doing and how, hopefully in seeing it done correctly (or more correctly) it will help create a visual for learning, so I end up covering all the major modes of learning, Seeing, Hearing, Doing, have reading material too, if that helps a certain student. So, on Saturday, a friend of mine, Dorothy, had her first real lesson, on Rhys. He was a gem.

All we did was walk, work on posture, hands, relaxing and swinging through the hips to go along with his movement instead of against it, along with breathing. And then, for giggles, Dorothy took another step. While she watched me ride, I explained to her that I wasn't using the reins at all to change Rhys's direction, and then showed her, doing figure eights on the buckle. I explained to her everything I was doing, and then, before finishing up her lesson, she asked if she could try this, I said sure. Rhys is still getting the whole idea of moving with his rider in this fashion himself, so it took them a little bit to get it and it wasn't exactly pretty, but they did mostly get it. I was so proud of them!! Dorothy wanted to continue, but I try not to make Rhys suffer new riders for too long initially and to be honest, I was afraid Dorothy would never ride again with her legs hurting too badly about 15 minutes post riding, so I said, no, let's end on a positive note. We took Rhys in, untacked, groomed, gave him an apple, had a little grazing time and then headed inside for coffee and to go over some other points including some helpful stretches. It was about that time that Dorothy noticed her legs were on fire, amazing what correct riding will do for one exercise wise!! :-) It was a really great lesson though and a lot of fun, I seriously enjoy giving serious students lessons, hope to get to doing a lot more of those in the not too distant future - and I think Rhys enjoyed the little extra food for thought too!!

1 comment:

  1. Dorothy is quite the student to be able to guide Rhys with seat and legs right off the bat. She must have a good instructor...and a good horse! Rhys is very handsome and has the great temperament to complete the whole package. Nice going, Heather!

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