First off, I would like to again say, please wear a helmet when riding. As I watch and read the news reports of Kaylee's accident, and her mother's response. . . it's heart wrenching. It could have been avoided.
Moving on. . .
My ACDA (American Choral Director's Association) All Eastern Honor Choir experience in Providence, RI was absolutely wonderful. I didn't want to leave. The music was beautiful to rehearse and perform. This is a taste of it:
When I returned, I took Daisy for a ride on Monday. She, of course, wanted to have a good gallop stretch, and I complied. She sort of has an energy meter that keeps filling every day. . . I go and ride her and use up the energy that tries to accumulate. But when she gets days off, the energy just keeps filling up within her, and she's fit to burst by the time I get on. She still behaves herself and walks calmly and all, but when I give her the opportunity to run it out of her system, she doesn't think twice. I loosen the rein in the typical manner, and she's gone.
My second riding lesson student started this week with a lesson Monday and Wednesday. She's younger and more timid than my other student. We did a few steps of trot on Wednesday, but we mostly just walk and I have her work on balancing exercises like hands on hips, shoulders, head, airplane arms, etc, to get her comfortable, and I lead her around the whole time. Eventually we will be able to move to her being in control of Daisy. . .
Daisy, I'm happy to say, seems to have really settled into being a lesson pony.
When I started giving lessons on her, I wasn't so sure it was a good idea after a couple lessons.... because Daisy was incredibly stubborn and testy, almost to the point of embarrassment. However, this has changed. Now that she's had her opportunity to test her boundries with my initial lesson student (who is still continuing and dabbling in canter work now!), she behaves quite well for her. For my new student, she seemed to positively enjoy it. She walked around very relaxed, moving and turning just from my slightest body movement. She snorted and sighed and licked her licks often. She behaves on the ground for her little charges as well.
And of course, while it is nice to have a 100% obedient lesson horse, it is not ideal, because the best way to learn to ride is on a horse that doesn't always listen.
And so, Daisy is perfect.
I've personally been in the arena with her the past few days. I worked with her on some western reining techniques a couple days ago. . . roll-backs, pivots, etc. She's doing a better job with roll-backs then when we started... pivots haven't really improved. She's perfect when we do a turn on the forehand, but a turn on the hindquarters doesn't work as well. She's not good about planting the foot she pivots around.. and so it's not a true pivot.
We got some snow yesterday. Daisy looked white when I went to bring her in ;) I started brushing it off her face before I remembered to take a picture.