Last night's lesson was really fun. Hemie hadn't gotten turned out, so I expected him to be a little fiery. Nope - perfectly calm and relaxed. In fact, next time I'll ride with a crop, since I was clucking like a chicken to keep him going. We longed first, of course, then did some walk, trot, and canter warm-up.
Our first exercise was introducing him to corners. You know, those things that are part of a dressage court that are not found at the racetrack. Good thing I have a trainer, because I wouldn't have thought of that. The goal was to do a square turn rather than ask for bend. In other words, a quasi-pivot using both inside and outside rein to keep him square and straight through the turn. Here's a photo of the "corners" we created in the round jumping arena:
Hemie was brilliant. He got the concept right away, and was a good sport even when I asked him to do it a little too "grand prix" -like, as my trainer immediately pointed out to me. Ha. We did it at walk and trot and he was a good boy - trying to do a good job and concentrating on the task at hand.
Next we did some trot poles. His little ears perked up and there was more pep in his step. The boy wants to jump! So out came the tiny crossrail and he was fantastic. The first go I was very defensive in my position so I got left behind. Thereafter I was pretty good about staying forward and grabbing a hunk of mane. =) He was lively and enjoying himself (and probably enjoying all the pats and squeals of excitement). He even figured out the concept of half-halts before the jump. I'm a proud mommy today.