LESSON AT BEACON HILL SHOW STABLES 9/15/2006
Today, we had a group lesson in the indoor ring at Beacon Hill. For the horses and students, the lesson helped us to develop stability, control, timing, and smoothness. Before beginning the jumping exercises, the flatwork portion of our lesson incorporated the essentials of getting our horses off our inside leg and onto the outside reign. Then, we practiced lengthening and shortening the horse's stride while keeping him up to the bit and taking us, just like we were about to do in the cavaletti exercise.
Stacia’s exercise placed three cavallettis in the center of the ring that walked a three-stride to a three-stride. We jumped in groups of three; each rider did the line in a normal three to three about two or three times. During the second rotation, we rode in a three to a short four, and a short four to, then, a forward three, alternating each time. Afterward, we repeated the sequence going in the other direction. Before the lesson ended, some of the younger riders switched horses and repeated the exercise on an unfamiliar horse.
After finishing the jumping portion, we walked our horses around the ring for a while, so they would cool down after their exercise.
A favorite part of the lesson was Stacia's comment on the five important characteristics of a good rider which are as follows: being a hard worker and dedicated, having mental and physical strength, and lastly, having talent, and that, being the least important characteristic of them all.
The lesson was great preparation for horse and rider especially with the indoor equitation finals around the corner! It was a great experience for some of the younger students to get a feeling for what it is like to switch onto an unfamiliar horse. Watching younger barn mates change horses, brought this rider back to the time when, as a younger student, the trainer introduced this rider to a similiar experience for the first time. Smiling, thoughts are of the many great things that lie ahead for them in the future!
Talk to you soon!