Schoolmaster Weekend Day 2

In which I actually got the lesson that I really needed the most right now in my riding career.

(sorry the part 2 took so long...I was waiting on media ;)

Day 2 - C. and I loaded up the horses and arrived with plenty of time for a leisurely warm-up.

I rode in a different saddle this time - a WOW saddle. It has air panels, but isn't bouncy at all. The benefit is that they are super customizable: you can choose and change everything!

It's like WOW. It's like right now.

Although the Wow was super fancy - I still love my Gravity Armony :)

Warming up and feeling more comfortable with each other :)

As our luck would have it - there was an Equestrian Drill Team competition, complete with full size American flags in the ring across from ours. Something like this....

A dozen or so horses running full speed with flapping flags sent some hamsters spinning off their wheels. All of the horses were unnerved. Even The Schoolmaster was rattled,  he was super looky and amped up (he was snorting at them, LOL) and kinda wanted to spin and run away, but we moved to the farthest end of the arena and Trainer V. coached me through it.

and so I spent a good 3/4th of the lesson talked thru what do you do when a horse is spooking/looking at a distraction (aka. future GOLD for Tesla). It was fantastic to work it thru on the Schoolmaster - who was only half-heartedly committed to being naughty, and if you made him work and bend, would forget about the scary thing and focus on the job.

You can see it in the videos - he gets looky as we come around the circle - I should've preemptively started bending him before he looked, but once I get his focus back on me, he goes nice and softly! I think we were both 100% more comfortable with each other than on the previous day :)

Lesson takeaways:

1. I know how to initiate energy, but I don't always know how to "catch" it. The Schoolmaster needed a lot of support from my outside aids - most of the time I need to bring my outside elbow back.

2. With my lower leg I need to keep contact, but then kinda bump bump it. I think this is actually what is meant by the wet-towel analogy, which I've heard, but now I have the actual physical sense of what I need to do after Trainer V. adjusted my leg. If my lower leg gets too strong, he will ignore me - or just push right back against me.

3. Where I think my aids are too strong, is just when they start to be effective!

4. Ask for the bend, then let him chase the bit. If he doesn't do it right away, ask again.

5. I can see like 10 things I want to change in my position: so I am definitely reading the latest Mary Wanless book and starting up my pilates/DRT again :D

Whew! My brain is full to bursting.

Can't wait to put all this newfound knowledge to use!!


  1. sounds like a great experience esp as the tools will relate to riding Tesla too!

  2. What a great experience- even with the hamsters coming off their wheels!


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