Ted and I had a problem-free trip to Louisiana on Christmas Eve. We left Lubbock around 8:30 a.m. and arrived in Monroe just after 6 pm. The horses happily munched grass hay the whole way, and their poops looked nice and healthy upon arrival. Clair leaped off the trailer with her usual enthusiasm, and Dakota hopped off like a gentleman. They're staying at trainer Holly's barn, and they're getting to have a whole hilly pasture to themselves. What could be better after ten hours stuck on a trailer?
Suzanne was completely up for giving me lessons on Christmas Day! What a dedicated trainer! And personally, there's probably nothing I'd rather be doing on Christmas Day than training with Suzanne. It was a warmish, humid day, so I rode in a t-shirt. Clair was up first. Ted wasn't able to get a lot of video of that ride because he was busy trying to unstick the tack room door lock on our trailer. I couldn't get any of my tack out, or gloves, helmet, whip... But luckily Holly has multiples of everything to try so we got a saddle and bridle to fit, and a helmet, and gloves. Clair didn't bat an eye and went happily under a different saddle, with a different bit, and a flash, which she normally doesn't wear. She's such a trouper. She settled right into work. The trot work went super well, and Ted did manage to unstick the lock and make it back to get video of canter. Right lead canter felt really good, and left got better as we went. I need to stop moving back and forth so much. Less pumping with the upper body, and less sliding of the butt forward and back in the saddle. We've got three more days of lessons to improve the canter.
Dakota was fence walking in the pasture the whole time I was working Clair. He didn't holler much, but he was anxious and in a full lather. It used to be that Dakota would scream for Clair, and Clair couldn't care less, but today when I popped Clair in the pasture and grabbed Dakota, Clair hollered frantically for quite awhile, and Dakota kept answering. He was a bit of a challenge to tack up as all he could think about was getting back to Clair. But we got 'er done, and after about twenty minutes of walking to let him settle (which still involved some screaming) he finally found his focus and we got some work done. There's some actual decent shoulder-in in the video (and some not-so-great shoulder-in). The canter departs were pretty terrible, but I was proud of him for pulling himself together and going to work after being in near-panic mode during tack-up. Tomorrow should go a lot better.