My first thought was that Roscoe was going to think he was at the ERC (collection center) since the stall was all barred and that he would not be happy at the lack of sawdust. They use the pelleted stuff that barely has any fluff to it and everyone seems to use sparingly. Probably because of the dust factor. Anyway they also put a flake of hay inside all ready for him. I went to the trailer and we unloaded him. He turned tourist, but was still respecting my space. Roscoe was not thrilled that there were no horses at that end of the barn. Plus since these stalls were built for giant warmbloods, he could not stick his head out the back window. All he could do was poke his nose out. I hoped he would figure out the automatic waterer since that definitely was a new thing.
Soon people came to check on us and the "OMG he is so small" and "He is so cute" comments began. We found out he was the smallest one to come to either weekend. Not too surprising when dressage people consider 14.3 to be a pony and that was the next closest size that came this weekend. Roscoe had a few hours to deal with the environment before lesson one. We went to watch the other lessons and freeze our butts off. The other horses were a wide variety, 2 OTTBs (one with no tail), 3 paints (one a welsh cross), 1 Irish Draught, 1 Quarab, 1 Arab, and 1 Oldenburg. The riders ranged from just started riding in October to looking toward Second Level. There were Hunters, Eventers and DQ's. It was fun to watch the lessons over the whole weekend.
|Growing up is hard to do|
I had to deal with a bit of stallion/baby drama when he saw a horse in a turn out right by the arena and the one in the indoor, who was a mare. Luckily, his drama is minor and movement helps. Roscoe handled the indoor with very little issue. The horse that kept popping up at points in the arena (mirrors) got him every time. More on that later. So lesson one was with Natasha Sprengers-Levine, the trainer who seems to deal well with the young horses. She got to deal with the super distracted Roscoe and his drift toward the exit. And you all get to see basically the whole lesson. It is a bit of a blur for me.
|Oh look he tried a rightward dodge too|
I took awhile to settle and just ride. At least Roscoe did not need a bomb to get moving at first. He did gradually get lazier as he realized what work was involved. It was tough to deal with his popping left shoulder. My circles sucked and my tight hips kept causing me to lose my stirrup. But Roscoe and I worked on through it all. I got better about anticipating his leftward dodge towards the exit and the slide away from the mirrors at E and B. We ended with one last resistence before finally finishing the exercise she asked us to do.
The take aways from this lesson:
Persistence and Consistency are key
I can deal with Roscoe's drama
It is time to show Roscoe the boundaries
Time to slow down to move forward
His fancy can come out later
I must remember to shorten my stirrups when I have not ridden often
and the most important... We survived
After the lesson I had a serious question about whether or not to do the group cavaletti. Could I handle his hard drift with other horses in the ring? I thought about it during lunch and watching the first group. I decided to trust in myself. My skills are rusty, but they are there. Bring on the group.
Stay tuned for Lesson two.