Tesla and I were scheduled for a longe lesson today, as a Christmas present for me ;)
Conditions were less than ideal - it was pouring buckets and so windy!
But we braved the storm and made our way up to the arena. Trainer J was waiting for us - I gave her a quick update, and as Tess was still off in front (still kicking that thrush and she clipped her front right heel a few days before......O, horses!)
Trainer J said that since Tess wasn't 100%, that we do a semi-lesson: I work Tess and she would keep an eye and comment as she worked an upper level horse, Eddy.
I got Tesla going nicely, a HUGE improvement from our last session when Tesla was a hot mess.
Trainer J suggested I put on an outside side-rein to help Tess stay balanced, and that we steadily work up from our 5min. per side with the side reins. Throughout the whole lesson, she rode Eddy around us, and when Tesla got nervous or spooky she called out to her, "Easy Tessie - Good Girl, Tess" which was ah-MAZ-ing and just exactly what Tess needs to help her gain some confidence about other horses coming near her with a lot of presence. Apparently flying changes are terrifying - Tesla was like WHY IS THAT HORSE GOING UP IN THE AIR WITH NO JUMP?!??
My HW: I need to get Tesla moving more forward into the contact - right now she still is a bit stilted and "thinks" she can't move forward I need to get her more comfortable in the contact and drive her from behind.
I also need to continue to build her confidence in the ring - to focus on me, rather than what Eddy or any other horse is doing ... lots of sugar cubes and verbal praise!
Trainer J said whenever I am up on the weekends, she would be more than happy to comment on our longing. Feeling totally Blessed, and Excited to have a game plan, and can't wait to get Tesla ready for a formal lesson in 2017!!