It was a very long day but definitely worth the tiredness! Everything started with an hour-ish journey to Hall-Place EC where I got to meet some more members of the staff and some more horses.
The atmosphere of the place was great; it's just so peaceful yet energetic there with lots of various horses being worked, different lessons happening and I am sure I will learn loads.
My schedule included two lessons for the staff - one group towards Stage II and the other towards Stage III, private lesson with a beginner, one intermediate jumping lesson for kids and one hour group training for myself with Listed BD dressage judge (very strict and I have no illusions now as to how horses are judged at affiliated dressage!) for which we had to evaluate the horses we rode and just generally chat about their ways of goings, quality of paces, scales of training etc.
The highlight of the day, however, was my 3pm ride on an absolutely gorgeous dressage schoolmaster (works to PSG at home) and spent an hour grinning like mad, riding flying changes and attempting canter pirouettes (which I didn't manage ;) first one I almost rode into the wall, second we sort of did half of it but my coordination of the aids wasn't good enough to finish the full circle - damn!). I hope to be able to ride him again. He's almost 18hh and is easily the biggest horse I have ever ridden, as well as being the best trained one I ever sat on.
His extended trot is such that I am now in awe of all those Grand Prix riders who actually sit to the paces of their powerful dressage machines! He was flying! The canter - I could ride all day, absolutely fantastic.
He is not push button but if you do things correctly he will do what you ask for. At first I got some renvers, flying changes and shoulder-in when I was just attempting to do a 10m circle ;)) Once I got the feel for him though he felt so powerful and regal! It's so addictive!
And a picture of one of the Giant Cats (I wanted to put my hand next to him to give you an idea of the size but I didn't dare disturb his sleep...! You would know why if you actually saw how small my hand was next to him!).