09.10.24: Real Rider

Since I went through with my surgery on the 20th of October, I knew I would not be able to ride for Kirsten's October lesson which was only on the 24th. We kept our lesson, though and I was just praying that I would be lucid enough to be able to at least watch the lesson. Mom helped me get all my things together and head down to the barn. Jim brought Storm in and we groomed him up and got him tacked. Then Mom and I headed down to the edge of the arena where we got me set up and reasonably comfortable. She only had to go up to the house once to get a few things that we hadn't thought to bring down. I got settled just in time for Jim to begin working with Storm.
Kirsten started out with the long reins working him through some exercises that we could use to keep working him forward into better balance and self carriage. Jim had a bit of a challenge adapting to the long reins since it is a lot of rope to handle, and developing the feel that is required to help guide Storm through better balance. Storm did well and was very responsive to Jim's guidance, even though he hadn't worked him like that before.
After several laps and a change of direction Kirsten straightened out the saddle and pad arrangement a bit and climbed aboard. She began to guide Storm through the same exercises that we worked on, only she was able to truly be firm and guide him and correct his mistakes much faster than I ever could. That's the price of learning and teaching simultaneously.
Storm was working very hard to give Kirsten what she was asking for. His expression became very internal as he thought very hard about each single step that he was taking. He slowed way down, but it was very obvious that it was not from laziness or from an unwillingness to try what she was asking. It was distinctly clear that he was concentrating so hard trying to comply with what she was asking thinking about each foot placement. His poor brain was just about steaming by the time the hour was up. I was pleased with his progress, and hope that over the next few months when I am not able to ride that her monthly work will still help move him forward.
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09.10.31: Day of the Horse!