So after 5 days off, of which I spent 4 at Rolex, Eli and I had a lesson last night. I was tired and cranky when I got to the barn. People there were annoying me, as usual. The clinic was running late as usual. However, I did have a new helmet, whip and thinline pad that I was ready to try out! :)
So the lesson started ok. Better than I expected after that many days off. Within 10 mins, Eli was way more lazy than he should have been. That was annoying. We didn't do anything spectacular. Some walk, trot and shitty canter warmup. Ugh. Then the far half of the arena became taken over by another lesson. Then within 5 mins the new boarder wanted to lunge her horse. So I have a first time lesson student on a lunge with cones all over on the far side and a chick with a horse standing outside the gate ready to lunge. I started to get sort of anxious as I thought "where am I going to ride?" Somehow the girl ended up lunging in the same area as the lesson as the instructor pulled the lesson girl to the side to chat. She is always talking to these kids for 15 mins or so at a time, with no riding going on. Weird. But it worked out in my favor last night.
We did the "whip desensitizing" after a bit of canter work. Eli was much more nervous about that and kicked out at one point. We managed to make progress though and then I had a nicely forward horse with some great hock action! The canter after that was good. At the very end Eli would not halt without backing up, so we had to school the heck out of severe half halts to convince him that he didn't go backwards when halting. This was a side effect of both his nerves due the whip and the degree to which I had him collected at the end. It wasn't anything to worry about, but just to work through.
I LOVE the thinline pad! It's great. I really notice a difference in the feel and the lack of bounce at the sitting trot. It seems that the purchase will be well worth the money. :) The helmet is also great, though a bit warm. That is worrisome since last night was a cool night.
My trainer and I agreed that some of the canter issue is just "in my head". Like I said earlier, it's me thinking it's going to suck and we are going to break. It's me tensing up as a result of that thinking. I need to be hypnotized or something! Ha ha.