Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lesson three, Sprieser Sporthorse Adult Camp

After Saturday anything that came on Sunday would be icing on the cake. We had to get up at 4am so we could leave the barn by 630. I had a ride time of 8am.
Sprieser had Roscoe fed and ready to be tacked up by time we arrived. Mom and Peggy put him in the aisle while I went to get ready. I had a surreal moment when I came back out to find Lisa cleaning Roscoe's stall. Never before had my instructor cleaned my horse's stall, especially with me standing right there. I did not have time to ponder though.

As the first rider the indoor was quiet and the lights still off. I had a quarter sheet on Roscoe since it was still cold and we enjoyed a quiet warm up. I was pleased to find I had more pony left then expected. Which turned out to be a good thing.
This was a lesson about boundaries and come what may, Roscoe and I were on our way. Lisa had me set my hands low, like side reins and push Roscoe forward. I had to stay that way no matter what drama Roscoe threw at me. Head ringing, foot stomping and suddenly stomping on the brakes were all his evasions. I had to take the quarter sheet off so my whip could be effective before carrying on the battle. Ten minutes, people. It felt like so much longer. Roscoe softened and began to move easier.

My favorite shot of the weekend

Both of us were tiring. Lisa wanted more trot from Roscoe and I literally could not manage more. My pony tried what he could. Amazing the difference even with his lack of fitness. It was way more than I expected to get out of this weekend. I laughed inside when Lisa said I was unemotional and that was good for a young horse rider. That is not something  I attribute to myself. I think the fact that she told me the method and his reactions were okay, allowed me to do what was needed.


We had a walk break and Roscoe saw the next horse at the arena door. Oh boy, did that knock everything we did out of his brain. It seemed we would end with another battle, but I was not sure we had enough time to end on a good note. Roscoe made me wait till the very end before just barely giving in. I'll take it to end soft. Roscoe received positive attention from the trainers and other riders. They said they had joked about starting Sprieser Sportpony and that he would fit right in.

I asked a lot of Roscoe this weekend and he responded accordingly. I loved the fact that he gave me some of his evasions because it gave the trainers a chance to teach how to deal with it. I could not wait to get home and see what kind of pony I now had away from the distractions.

So Tired!
Riding first meant that once Roscoe was settled, we could watch the rest of the lessons. Not everyone in the camp did this, but to me that is another way to learn. Only one horse/rider pair I missed watching each day because she was right before/after my ride. To be fair, the indoor was freezing. The trainers sat in a chair wrapped in a heated blanket while the observers wrapped up in coolers.
It was a great mix of people and was a positive environment. Everything together made $150 a total steal. I would definitely do this again. Plus I am going to try lessons there once a month.
Of course it would not be a trip without something going awry. When the time came to load up and leave, we had to deal with trailers everywhere. Got that figured out and then I could not find my car keys. With no time to search, I used my Mom's and we headed home.

There was quite the welcome home for Roscoe. Lot's of running and checking in with everyone. He was so happy to be home. The next day I made sure to take him for a trail ride and stretch out his muscles. We both needed the mental break. The real work starts now.