One ride Peggy asked me to give the Barn Rat a lesson. Have I mentioned that normally Mom is the teacher? Cue the mind spin. What the heck was I going to do with this girl. I had to dig back in my memories of beginner type riding exercises and came up with steering.
Rosemary and I went to the arena and started to set up jump blocks to use as visuals. She followed me around for the first couple, stood for the third and decided to take off out of the arena by the forth. Yes my silly Cob ran away. I followed her until she turned toward the front of the barn as Peggy, BR and Dottie were coming out the back. I called to Peggy asking her to collect my pony who was gazing down the ailse at the front.
How about that for showing a student? Well what the hell, she already saw me get kicked by Roscoe.
I told BR to take Dottie around the jump blocks which were set at A, E C, B on a uneven circle. Yeah one block was a little off since I had to track the runaway. Well Dottie showed her that even steady ponies will pull tricks if the rider is indecisive. BR needed to mean what she was telling Dottie. I tried to get her to focus on the jump blocks and plan ahead for the turns. If she knew Dottie dived inside in one spot, she needed to look wide to the outside. Gradually the concepts seemed to hit home. We had to go through the don't pull back on the reins to turn, lead to the side lesson when Dottie would randomly stop. BR smoothed out her steering on the circle, so I started to tell her letters to aim for and which side to go around. I told her this was a barrel racing pattern, but that for our purposes we would call it barrel snail. Because Dottie was walking as slow as molasses. She knew that was all BR was up to. Together they did manage the turns and pattern. Then I sent her back to the circle where Dottie tried her tricks again. I told BR she could not leave the ring until Dottie did two circuits without Dottie taking control. They managed it and we ended with a trail ride.
The whole time I had no idea whether BR was enjoying the ride or if it was too boring. The teenage ennui look was too consistent. Whew, a tough crowd. Peggy told me later that when she brought BR home, BR was talking excitedly about the lesson. I guess my first teaching experience had a positive ending.