Scheduling lessons back to back without a single minute of a break is wrong. It doesn't allow an instructor to "leave" one lesson truly and it takes a few minutes to adjust to a new rider in the arena. If an instructor waffles a lot like I can do/tend to do they will suffer from dry throat - not nice. It's very mentally tiring = less quality teaching.
I am used to it by now and thankfully it's one day a week only that I have to work like this, wouldn't be able to do a few days in this fashion!
I was super pleased with my morning riders today. Ladies are more and more inquisitive about their riding, transitions they rode today were very very decent and their sitting trot is certainly a massive step up from winter work. Horses always give me the best of feedback and I know straight away whether the rider is trying or not - the way they moved today and how obediently they listened to the riders aids was a treat to watch.
My teenage riders also showed some super increase in skills and body awareness especially that I took their saddles off for half a lesson and they successfully cantered bareback. Their effectiveness is improving immensely which is evident as naughty ponies don't dare to show their devil horns...!
By lunch time I needed a rest so I popped onto my sofa and browsed 'Horse' magazine catching up with all the 'confidence and riding nerves' articles ;)) (see below post for the reason why)
Afternoon lessons were equally uplifting. Two beginner riders who are now truly hooked (and booked my Training Day in the beginning of June - excellent!) really got the idea of stretching the legs downwards while relaxing through the inner thighs which resulted in much more balanced overall position. They are still working on the lunge without the reins but if they carry on like they are at the moment they might 'deserve' the reins before their Training Day...
Then a super funny lesson with Sara but don't confuse fun with lack or hard work - I bet she will feel her muscles tomorrow. She normally rides in a group lesson in the morning but had a rare chance to have a lunge lesson today so we made a full use of this opportunity. One of the rider's problems is losing her stirrups in sitting trot and canter due to lack of suppleness in the joints (especially ankles and knees) and more sophisticated coordination. The objective for today was to get Sara to feel more centred and balanced in canter with equal weight distribution down both leg as well as improving her coordination/movement awareness.
The below video show Sara in trot/canter transitions work where she was asked to stand up in her stirrups and find her standing balance while bouncing an imaginary ball off the ground. We laughed so much my face hurt!
After 40 minutes of work focused on above goals made a big difference to Sara's seat though and I am hoping to see those newly found coordination skills on full display next week.
And Mr. Z. rode really well too today with much more positive attitude and the horse happily cooperated. As with the girls in the morning I arranged for Mr. Z. to have a bit of bareback time as I think it is one of the best way to develop feel for the horse's movement in the rider.
Pic.: Tired but pleased!
P.S. Almost forgot about The BAD BAND...i.e. what we spent our lunch time on...
"The Wonderful World" by W., S. and me ;) [W. do you think we should ask Jaguar to pay us royalties since you are displaying the logo??]