Sunday 23 September 2012

Last Lesson

For a while, anyway. This is my last weekend here in Alberta/Saskatchewan and the weather is absolutely fabulous. The fall colors have arrived and the horses are feeling good. The mosquitos are gone, and Ginger and I continue to progress. It's all making me rethink my plans to leave.

I was pretty sad yesterday realizing this would be our last lesson with Trainer Girl for quite a few months. She's incredible, and I don't say that lightly. We are lucky to have found her.
I'm also sad to be leaving Lainey behind, even though I know she will be in excellent hands. I'll be looking forward to spring.

So, the lesson recap:
The people ahead of me were running quite late. Trainer girl is very good about keeping on time, but yesterday my lesson was about a half hour late. Ginny was already tacked and warmed up and ready to go. She was quite content to walk around for a bit while we waited, but quickly got bored and started looking for reasons to be silly. On a normal day, I would have just put her to work. Yesterday, I was hoping to leave some gas in the tank for the lesson. I played it wrong though, because come lesson time she'd managed to get herself in a bit of state and suddenly had boundless amounts of energy. The extra half hour of waiting around was our downfall, I think. It was good for Ginger though, because obviously in the real world things don't always run on time!

So, to work we went. Slow, steady tempo, proper bend around my leg, etc. Me, needing to relax my body a bit more. Be ready for what she might do, but trust that she won't, if that makes sense. I need to ride for the ride I want rather than doing damage control on the one I'm getting and trying to make it "pretty".

All in all, it turned into an excellent lesson. I think, as always, I needed the reminder about being able to ask and expect more from her when she's anxious. Give her a challenging task rather than boring her with easy ones. I still tend to back off a bit and try to get her settled that way. As Trainer Girl says though, I'm waiting for her to decide to relax rather than telling her how to relax. Both methods work, but one is obviously more effective (and it's not mine). Point taken. She didn't ever truly settle in, but hey, we had a fabulous warm up!

So, we leave on that note. We are off to BC next Sunday and will be left to our ourselves for a few months. Part of me is panicking because trainer girl won't be around to fix my mistakes. The other part of me knows Ginger needs a ton more miles and we'll be ahead of the game no matter how much I (inadvertently!) stray from trainer girl's plan.

I read somewhere recently that cobs don't really grow up until 6 or 7 years old. So there is hope she will magically mature in the next year or two and stop the teenage drama. I'm not holding my breath though ;)

All faded from the sun:


  1. Ha, ha I keep hoping my cob mare will mature too. She is 5 yrs old also. I did see a big difference in a cob gelding who I ride when he turned six so I have hope.
    Cob mares are in a class all to themselves, but one I enjoy :)

  2. The breeder of Nicole ^ and I's Cobs does say that 6 is the magical year, at least for her lines. Some lines do mature more slowly or quickly. She sees typically that they will grow out (widening of the chest/rib cage) and mature mentally during the sixth year, though they typically don't add height. I am in the middle of that sixth year with Connor, and I can verify that it's true for him.

  3. Sorry guys, busy with last week of work and didnt check my messages til now. Thank you for the encouraging replies! She's still 5 this year, and she did mature mentally quite a bit over the past year, so maybe the trend will keep continuing! Lets hope she doesn't get any bigger physically- I'm about 5'1" and need a mounting block as it is so I don't look like an idiot crawling up into the saddle.