Sarah had to take some time off after having knee surgery over the summer, and I did some riding on her horse Jag. He’s a very likable, middle-aged thoroughbred. He’s big and dark, dark bay, handsome as could be. He’s a good citizen, not spooky or excitable, and walks and trots around accordingly, but didn’t have a whole lot of knowledge beyond that. He also has a big springy trot, which is lovely to watch, but a good workout to ride. Poor Sarah, after almost 3 months out of the saddle, had Mr. Springs to get back to riding with.
But Sarah has persevered, and really impressed me tonight! Her and Jag looked awesome. I had tortured Sarah a few times with lunge line lessons on Diamond to work on her posture, and, I will admit, I was satisfied to hear that she had sore abs the following day. But tonight it all paid off. She sat up tall, her leg was steady, her arms were relaxed and hanging quietly by her sides, and her hands were open for communication, talking softly with Jag’s mouth throughout the ride. Jag quite clearly approved, and softened his neck and poll to reach for the bit, taking a soft contact with Sarah’s hands. His back was loose and swinging, his hind end reaching powerfully up underneath his body. We worked on a circle, making it bigger and smaller, bending him around. We worked on half halts and transitions. Then we worked on the same things at the trot, and Sarah’s body stayed put and so did Jag’s. Softly she carried the reins and he carried the bit, and around they went, round and bending. Then he got quick and unbalanced, and Sarah half halted and Jag came right back to her. Sarah is getting a real feel for the timing, and for knowing how much of what aids to use to make adjustments. It was beautiful to watch all the pieces clicking together. I am so happy for them!!