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Riding, Roman

[Riding] Roman Redux

Made it to the stables early, so spent a bit of time visiting with Chester -- another student has joined Elizabeth and I at this timeslot, and is now riding him -- and Coalby, and got to meet Cassandra, Kara (my instructor)'s horse. (Cassie is, for what it's worth, one of the most beautiful horses I have ever seen. Absolutely gorgeous.) Also discovered that poor Chester had decided to scratch an itch the other and went after a post, and gashed part of his forehead, which is being treated.

I love that horse, but sometimes he lacks common sense.

I'm still on Roman -- I'm on Roman for the foreseeable future -- and so I got him out closer to lesson time and groomed him with the grooming kit I got at Olsen's while FJ and Andrea were here. Went well, and he did really like the mane and tail brush I got, but he was a little antsy... didn't want to stay waiting in the barn until it was time for us to go out.

Despite the impatience, Roman was as recalcitrant as ever to get up to a trot right away, though he /did/ actually move forward when I told him to do so. (Which is an improvement over just standing there.) But after about 6 minutes of trying to make him do a trot, I was about to give up and just walk another lap or two before continuing... and finally he decided I was serious, and started to trot.

After that, he just started trotting when I gave him the cue. This is distinct progress; we were able to trot quite a bit, and I even stayed in two-point through a few trotted laps. Now that was some exercise, I tell you! We also got to trot an obstacle course in odd non-circular paths, but jumping-fanatic Roman kept wanting to go over the jumps... made for an interesting time, trying to steer him onto the /path/, rather than the jumps lining it.

Really, though, Roman and I got along much better than usual, and his trot is /incredible/; he was lapping both Ladd and Chester around the ring, so I had to keep cutting inwards to slip past them. I was pretty sore in the thighs by the end of the lesson, though, and then it was time to dismount...

...and this is where Roman decided to misbehave. Right as I was in that precarious moment where you're about to kick your foot out of the stirrup, Roman ducked his head down and wandered about three steps forward. Cue moment of comical 'uh oh' hanging there in a position which really cannot be maintained unless the laws of gravity are revoked, followed by Rachel on her ass in the ring with a skinned elbow.

Took Roman out, groomed him again, and used the Coat Enhancer I found, which Kara says she uses on Cassie and /highly/ recommends. Also used detangling shampoo on his mane and tail, and dried them off. He looked very pretty by the end, and for being patient with a grooming session which took far longer than normal, Roman got two Mrs. Pasture's cookies. (Cookie company that makes cookies for horses.) Gave treats to Chester and Coalby too, and then sat with Coalby for about twenty minutes, just being soothing until her ears went forward.

Now I'm home. Sore, and I know I'll probably be a little stiff tomorrow if I don't get in a good long walk, but it still was a good lesson. Despite my feelings of frustration with Roman not wanting to obey my cues when they involve acceleration, Kara says I've got steering him down pretty well and that getting him to trot at /all/ is immense progress; when she rides him, she has to use spurs to get consistent speed out of him.

And that is, after all, why she put me on Roman; I was being too gentle with the horses, which is fine with Chester, but with most others, you have to be more assertive. So hey, progress. And evidently, we'll be moving on to cantering in a little while, if Elizabeth and I show enough progress!

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lj-cuts are your friend. ;)