I just knew my lesson would be great last night. I started smiling in anticipation on the way to the stables last night from work. I couldn't wait to get there.
The herd was turned out to pasture just over a week ago, a couple of weeks later than usual because of the soggy conditions. Gem got his little turnout field back and is loving it! Last night was the first time this season I had to bring him in (usually he's brought in for me). I could see him dozing under the trees and I called him as I walked through gate. He looked and then trotted over to me! I did my usual greeting, gave him a rub and then hooked his lead rope. It was a great way to start our time together.
It was warm (27C) and sunny, so our lesson was going to be outside. Unfortunately, the dry sand in the front paddock made A LOT of dust as we did our warm up. At one point, I wasn't sure where LA was - I could hear her, but couldn't see her! :-) Time to move the lesson out on the grass. You can actually see where we had our lesson in my header picture. :-) Normally when we are in the fields, I start feeling that nervous butterfly thing in my stomach and then I start gripping the reins . Not last night. I was first through the gate. Gem and I walked around, checked out the cavellettis and the poles and wandered around a bit in the tall grass. I wanted to see what the terrain was like and I wanted him to feel the tall grass against his legs.
We started our warm up again, this time jogging over the poles and the cavellettis. Yes, you read that correctly. Me, Gem, grass, tall grass, open space, JOGGING OVER POLES AND CAVELLETTIS. I know! Crazy, eh?! My classmates, including CA, were amazed at my lack of hesitation. LA was yelling encouragement. Gem never faltered. He plowed through the tall grass and uneven terrain like it was nobody's business. I overheard one of my classmates say to another as we jogged around them that I had good balance. :-)
Then we came to the part in the lesson where LA asks us what we want to do. Jean and BF were ahead of me and decided they wanted to lope circles. Of course the circle was much bigger than what it would be in the paddock. :-) It was great to watch them loping in the grass. My turn. LA asked me what I wanted to do. "Lope." I know! Crazy, eh?! She never batted an eyelash. "Show us how it's done."
Gem's departure was great. He was relaxed and frankly, so was I. There was a brief moment as we were loping through the tall grass that I had a flashback of doing the same thing as a girl. The memory made me feel good and I started to grin. When we finished loping, LA commented that it was nice to see me smile.
I JOGGED and LOPED a number of times last night. I even jogged by a couple of the old horses that had come in from the other pastures to the paddock gate for their nightly grain treat. Didn't faze me. Gem did everything I asked him to do. While CA and LA were arranging a private lesson, Jean and I walked further into the middle of the pasture to cool our horses down; another first for me.
As we dismounted, LA approached me and said that I had taken a giant step. I was very pleased. Gem made it easy. I think our bond was strengthened just a little bit more last night. I trusted him and I think he trusted me. I untacked Gem and had a hard time leaving him. It was such a fantabulous lesson and I didn't want it to end, sort of felt like a terrific first date - remember?? :-) Jean mentioned at Burger and Beers that she had noticed a change in my confidence over the weekend and was impressed at my performance last night.
I am a little stiff today, but it's a good kind of stiff. As I mentioned in my previous post, I think I am entering into a new chapter with Gem. I am excited about it. I can't explain why last night was so different from others. Was it the Advil I took before lesson that loosened up my muscles? Perhaps it was that I had a very productive day at work and was on a roll. Maybe it was the 1/2 fudge brownie I had late in the afternoon. :-) I think that it's probably my new negative-free attitude and Gem is feeling it. Open spaces! Loping! Jogging! Look out! Here we come!!.....I just hope my body can hold up.... :-)
What was I thinking....?