Still on Banjo this week. It was nice, though, because the two stable staffers who went away to college this summer were back for the holidays, and in at the stables. Got to say hi to people. And since they were there to act as aisle helpers, my friend Brooke got to ride in my lesson. AND one of the people who rides on Friday had to shift their lesson this week, and so was riding in mine. Three people instead of solo!
On the downside, of course, this meant other horses in the ring. So Banjo was back to his old 'hurry-up-and-follow, drop-behind-to-catch-up' tricks to try and stay with the other horses. We spent the first half of the lesson mostly working on trotting down-down-up and up-up-down. (Down-down-up doesn't bother me, but I hate up-up-down on Banj; he changes pace as soon as I'm in the air, trying to slow down or speed up to get near other horses, so staying up for two beats can be a little hard.)
Second half of the lesson was cantering; we each took turns cantering two or three laps in each direction. Banjo really made me work for the canter this week; it was a bit frustrating, as I really had to apply pressure to keep him from dropping to a trot. Both the other riders commented that just watching made them feel tired. After how well it'd gone the other week, that was a little disheartening.
On the other hand, I was able to consistently get Banjo to start on the correct lead when going left, which is improvement.
Unfortunately, Banjo was a bit matted with sweat again. Not nearly so bad as last time, at least, since it's colder tonight. But enough to make the grooming take the better part of an hour. Argh! I really AM going to give that horse a poodle cut.
Roman, however, is getting obviously grumpy that 'his' rider has been taken. Every time I walked past the stall today, he'd press right up to the edge and make this absolutely pathetic face and little whimpering noise. If I walked past without stopping, he'd start running his teeth across the bars to make an ungodly racket until I came back. I had to not only provide snacks but sit with him in the stall for a little while after putting Banjo away, before I was forgiven.