Another rule was formed at the barn today. . .no cantering in the round pen.
Terry's sister, Alison (with one "l" and mom to Lily and Tommy) offered to give me lessons if she could also ride Shyloh because she misses riding. Alison has been riding since before she could walk; saddleseat, hunt seat, Western, gaming. . .lots of riding. So of course I said yes! I really enjoy sharing Shy with others because she brings me so much happiness and I want to pass that on. . .and I really need lessons. It's a win win for everyone.
We had our first session today. Alison rode first, getting a feel for how Shy rides. She is sensitive, usually doesn't need much leg to move, but does like contact with the bit. Shy worked really well for her and had her super concentrating ears on, where they are in a halfway between the rider and forward and out to the side. . .like Shrek's ears, but cuter.
They worked on walking and trotting and bending and flexing. Shy can be super cute pony for a little bit, but doesn't have the strength to keep it up for too long, yet.
And when she gets tired, she hangs on the bit. They also worked on a little bit of canter. The canter is the Haflinger's least favorite gait (generally speaking). They have a harder time balancing it and keeping it. But I think Alison was so happy to be riding again and wanted a good canter out of Shy that she tried it a few times. Shy picked up her super fast trot but did canter.
But, her little legs got to moving so quick that she slipped. Poor Shy tried so hard to stay upright but just couldn't. Alison tumbled forward as Shy slid on her side and landed on Alison's leg. Luckily, Shy was really calm about it and Alison was just slightly banged up. She took a minute to assess the damage. Shy was genuinely concerned about Alison, it was very cute. Alison got back on for a few more laps and I was very surprised at how good Shy was, especially after the slip.
Then it was my turn! I actually look forward to riding now instead of having anxiety attacks. I got on Shy and Alison adjusted my legs. Ah. . .I felt so much better sitting upright with my legs further back. And I didn't feel off balance. Time to make Shy go forward. Nope, Shy was having none of it. Why, oh why will Shy give Alison a beautiful ride, but refuse to move for me? Mares. I did get her going, but she kept getting "sticky" in the same spot. Even through all this testing, never once did I feel she was nervous or getting ready to scoot. Eventually, I got her to the point where I kept her moving through the "sticky" part. Go me and my cheer team of Jaime and Alison!
At one point, I was trying to get Shy to go one way that she clearly did not want to go when she started moving sideways. I said, not sure what she is doing, but it sure feels fancy! as we all had a chuckle. I said, I am secretly a fancy dress-age rider and can make my horse do all kinds of fancy things. One reason why I can't get Shy to do what I want. . .she makes me laugh too much and does silly things when she should be doing the things I ask her to do.
But I did get her to go where I wanted and we did laps at the walk around the round pen in both directions. I did a few circles and Shy really wanted to pick up a trot, but stayed at the walk for me. I want to get super comfortable at the walk before we trot. I have a five year plan. . .