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Riding, Roman

[Riding] Riding Recap

I've been bad. I've been so terribly busy, I haven't posted on anything (much less riding) in quite some time! But do not think this means I haven't been riding; it'd take more than that -- and more than that really nasty fall I mentioned before -- to make me stop.

I was still on Roman for a bit after that nasty fall, though someone else -- a less experienced classmate -- picked him up on Fridays. Roman's good for carrying folks starting out if they're overweight (as I was when I started), since he's very sturdy. Plus, if you can make Roman go, then when you're ready for another horse, you can definitely make them go.

So, I was riding Roman on Thursdays and this classmate was riding him on Fridays, while I was riding Ladd on Fridays. There wasn't any particular new PROGRESS for most of that time, though Roman was definitely better-behaved on Thursdays after that fall, and did not buck me off again!

The big news at the stable instead is that my instructor is no longer teaching the classes. It was too much of a workload to run both the school program (riding lessons on the school horses) and the client horse program (people who own horses and are training for shows). So, my instructor has moved to doing just the client horse program, and we have a new instructor who just moved to the area. For most of the time since I last posted, we've had her in as a second instructor with Kara still teaching; she only just took over some of the lessons last week, and this week was doing all of them.

The other change is that the person half-leasing Roman for summer shows is now riding him on Thursdays... bumping me entirely from my beloved bay brat until show season is over. Sad. Instead, I've been moved to Derby, a horse I had often seen in lessons but had never ridden. Derby is a much better-loved horse than Roman, though he's got his quirks too.

Derby's an exceedingly bouncy horse, making him an interesting one when you trot him for the first time! He's also kind of a wind-up horse; when he starts out, he'll sort of lumber along. But as you ride him, he warms up more and more and as you keep him going fast, he will go faster and faster and faster until he's trotting at a ludicrous speed (and a teeth-jarring bounce), and threatening to break into a canter. Then as you drop pace, it's like the wind-up spring runs down; once he's at a walk, he'll start to lumber lethargically again... though it takes less time to kick him into gear each successive time. By the end of the lesson, he's looking for excuses to break into a trot! So he's good practice for maintaining a pace.

Derby's also exceedingly strange. He honestly seems to think he's a dog. He not only lets his tongue loll out the side of his mouth (and will lick you all over your face like a dog), but he has an aura of, 'If I were small enough, I would lay down across your lap and watch television with you.' He looks like a dope when he has his tongue hanging out, but it's very endearing nonetheless; Derby's rapidly becoming one of my favorite horses. (Roman's jealousy is staved off by the fact that I still visit and feed and groom him.)

Meanwhile, the new instructor has a very different teaching style, something more like 'Torquemada' does. However, it seems to be working better for me. In the past little while, I've finally gotten over the 'plateau' I had for cantering; I've progressed to doing trot-canter-trot transitions as well as walk-canter-walk, and even (on Thursday) doing a sequence of something akin to 'walk-canter-walk-trot-canter-trot-walk-canter-trot-canter-walk' around the arena, doing the transitions at specific points. By the end of Thursday's lesson, I felt very much more secure in my seat and in my control of transitions to and from the canter. Today I did less cantering, because, well, there's just so many people in that class. Thursday I seem to be solo right now.

It's definitely always odd when things shift gears, such as having a new instructor. But I think this will work out well!
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phew! you are okay! i was worryin' sort of ish!