Lesson day! And the first lesson after the first show.
I admit, I still have a little girl's grin glued to my face. Toby beat my expectations by a mile BUT having said that, I'm not blind to the areas where we need to improve. I had set fairly simple goals but they were big goals to my future of showing Toby. Mainly, getting Toby into a trailer without him going berserk inside of it. I've seen it happen, it's ugly and well, I don't wish it on anyone. But with good planning, good understanding of my horse, we had zero issues! Not one! Just getting him in a trailer and to the show without him blinking an eye was enough to put me into a GREAT mood. Add to that his game effort at a new discipline and you have an owner with a little girl's grin glued her face.
So today, when Betsy came over for our lesson we rehashed the show, my goals and set new goals for the next show.
One of my concerns after watching the video was my leg and body position. I grew up hunt seat and I can't seem to shake it. But Betsy told me something today that completely made sense. She said she'd rather work on me getting Toby into a proper frame than telling me to "put my leg back, sit up, etc." She said that my position will come together in time but it's most important that I learn to ride my horse than just look good on my horse. I thought that was an excellent point.
Speaking of riding my horse, Toby was fantastic today. He's so much more fit and interesting to ride. He seems very happy and he has a lot of confidence in me. Today we rode in our outdoor arena which is adjacent to a paddock that had a visiting Fjord mare with her nursing foal. Toby was completely convinced the baby was actually a horse eating monster. The baby just wanted a buddy to play with so she raced up and down the fence whenever we came by. I made sure to keep Toby's attention on me and he settled right down. This is what I mean by "he has a lot of confidence in me." He trusts me and therefore will listen to me when his instinct is telling him to RUN AWAY. After awhile both Toby and the filly foal became used to each other and the novelty wore off. At about that time Toby really relaxed and began to engage his hind end. Wow! He had so much energy and power. It was cool to ride. I looked at Betsy at one point and mouthed out OH MY GOD! It was so much fun! He was on the aids, round, on the bit, and the energy was phenomenal. We ended the lesson after that and told him how awesome he was.
I am just thrilled with the horse that Toby has become in a short amount of time. He's been a blast to ride. I never dreamt he could offer this much. I just hope I can make that happen in the show ring for everyone to see. Isn't that what we all hope for?