The difference between the barn in the evenings and during the day is literally the difference between night and day.
It is very busy, very competitive, and very high drama...
|Glasses + Helmet = Age 5|
but at night, it is a peaceful and relaxed place.
so it is not totally unexpected that our first lesson at the new barn did not go so well...actually it morphed into a longe lesson.
The morning started off great, Tesla was happy to come to work, and I got her tacked up and in the ring with plenty of time to warm up. The tractor showed up to drag the arena so we had a lovely fresh palette to play on :) and she was as calm as a cucumber.
We were joined in the ring by the trainers and one of the upper level riders, who began to discipline/school her horse very strongly (lots of whip slaps), and Tesla started to get worked up.
I rode out a few good spooks (more of the sit-down type ;) and we decided to head up to the upper arena, and see how she would go in the more familiar setting.
Nope, Tesla was still super high, and scared of everyone in the ring (with or without whips) so I popped off and Trainer J. did a longe lesson.
Tesla was a hot mess as we longed her in the far corner, and I know the other gals in the ring were absolutely pissed as I could hear them recounting her bad reputation in angry tones. (I did fell bad that Tesla kinda interrupted her lesson, but you gotta deal with the behaviour in the moment, and this was also my lesson too)
After 20 min or so, Tesla was much calmer, and had a rideable canter in both directions. So we called it a day, and I took her out of the ring wringing wet to cool off walking around the property. She was a saint :P I hosed her off, let her dry a bit, and put her out to finish her breakfast.
My HW is to longe her daily until we meet for our next lesson, and get her bored of W/T/C on the longe. I'll try and come out early some mornings as well, to longe in the intense environment too. (for sure the weekends, and I'll try and squeeze in a few weekdays too)
So, I'm not totally surprised at her hot mess behaviour, the competitive barn atmosphere brings out any training holes (and I know her trainer didn't do a lot of longing). So even tho' we were going along happily at the previous family barn, the plan is to take her back down to zero in this new environment and go from there.
Glad to have a game plan, and a good trainer who loves Tess on my side!
UPDATE: Got a text from my trainer
I want you safe. And her happy. We are here to help you guys. Don't listen to anyone you've got this