|What an adorable logo!|
Nestled in the Santa Rosa valley of Ventura county, the facility is just lovely.
|Main barn center, turn outs at left, ring below.|
I'll be honest - my lesson was a bit frustrating. My trainer and I just weren't on the same wavelength and it took me forever to figure out what we were supposed to be doing.
For example, she had me push my knuckles into his withers. Like so:
Without background context, this was confusing and frustrating for both Hemie and I. Turns out Laurie wanted us to have a few minutes simulating side-reins/bit-up, where Hemie would have 100% consistent rein length. But until she said that, I had no idea what we were doing and thought she was instructing me to use pressure and release on his withers to try and get him more engaged.
Then apparently my releases over the jumps were horrible.
I didn't understand what had changed - I've never had an issue with releases before. At the end of the lesson Laurie explained that Hemie is starting to use his neck more over the jumps. She kept messing with my hand placement, when I've never had to work on that before. I believe I normally do an automatic release but she wanted a long crest release. She also said I'm sitting up and pulling back too quickly after the jumps. Ugh so frustrating (and major self guilt-trip for hitting my pony in the mouth!). Hemie didn't seem upset, but still.
On the positive side, it sure was a lovely day. Perfect weather. You can't complain too much when the whole country is in a polar vortex and you get this:
|Sunshine & t-shirt weather.|
This coming weekend we're headed to Temecula for the Galway Downs fundraiser clinic. I'm riding with Hawley Bennett-Awad and look forward to reporting back!