Monday, February 2, 2009

Recapping the end of January

HAPPY GROUNDHOGS DAY! Unfortunately for those in the wintry north, we ALWAYS have six (or eight, or twelve) more weeks of winter. Even though it was in the 40s this weekend, it's going back to single digits this week. Sigh...

When we left off...

It was Wednesday, and I was feeling lazy. No, I didn't make it to the gym (in fact, I never made it out there at all last week). I got some rest, but probably not enough!

Thursday I had planned a night out for myself, my boyfriend, and several of my friends (I had a super-sneaky plan to play matchmaker), but before I could get there, I had to go out to the barn to teach a lesson for one of the girls who works at the barn, as she was not feeling well. It was a 7:30 pm lesson so I lunged Henry before they got there. He was obedient to my voice commands, not too hot and gave some very nice canters. Good boy! The lesson was five beginners who actually did a very good job of getting their horses tacked up, we all got on, and worked on position, steering, 2 point and footfalls (distinguishing when the outside fore went forward, etc) at the walk. I am thinking these are modest people, because compared to MY beginner lessons, these guys and gals were ready for the WEG!

After all the horses were put away and Henry had this blankets, I changed at the barn and picked up a friend who lives out that way. We met another friend in town and headed over to the bar for some trivia with my boyfriend and his friend. I finally had some dinner, we got probably 3 out of 15 trivia questions right, and my boyfriend's friend suggested to me (later on) that my friend might like another of our friends and they should meet. So much for my matchmaking skills!

Friday night, I went to the barn not knowing if my beginner lesson was going to show up at all. The last word I had from the Barn Owner was that they wanted to switch to a new time but weren't sure what that time would be. However, the BO had not told me they weren't coming on Friday at 6 (the original time), so I went out just in case. I wasn't dressed to ride, because my boyfriend and I were supposed to meet his dad for dinner later on and I thought I might only have to be there for ten minutes or so to clean out Henry's water bucket. I asked around to see if anyone knew if my lesson was planning on showing up, but no one knew for sure. I called one of the girls in the lesson and they said they were on their way. Just my luck : /

I lunged Henry for a few minutes until they got there, and then did my best to teach. These girls (there was another one there tonight, whose Drop form I had signed last week, who decided that maybe she would show up after all!) are not confident. They are not used to animals. It takes f o r e v e r to teach them. They don't feel comfortable on their own, so I had to basically give three mini-private lessons in 45 minutes (they were late, too). Sigh! I went over grooming, tacking up, and actually went fifteen minutes over so that I could at least show them how to mount and dismount, and then hold each horse while they practiced. My boyfriend is nothing if not patient, as he had to wait in the tack room the whole time (although since it was tuned to E! he learned some very useful facts about Jessica Simpson). He also got some entertainment from three girls who board at the barn who decided to "free lunge" one girl's horse. By this, they meant "chase the poor thing who doesn't get turnout EVER with a lunge whip so that all the horses in the barn are white-eyed wondering WTF is going on... 'to get some extra energy out because he has a show coming up'". DOUBLE SIGH because while this was going on, I was holding a horse in the aisle trying to keep it from trampling my timid beginners.

At the end of the lesson as they were leaving, I said to the girls, "So, you're going to keep this lesson time then?" They conferred in Japanese, asked to see the lesson schedule, and looked confused when I reminded them that they had already heard all their options from both me and the BO. Silence. Then, "well........ yeah then I guess we'll keep this time", to which the other instructor in the tack room muttered "wow, should not have been that hard". I concur.

Saturday and yesterday I rode Henry in the afternoons, working on really getting a good feel in the outside rein, moving straight and forward, doing trot-halt-trot transitions and getting really good canters. I admit I have been slacking off a little on the lateral work. I did a little bit each way on both days, but ring traffic is usually an issue on the weekends so I don't have a lot of long straightaways to work on this stuff (yeah, that's it... not because it's tough or anything lol), but I will definitely work on it tonight before my 7:30 lesson.

I also met with two women from my GMO on Saturday to take the reins for the annual silent auction that we hold at our awards dinner. I got some interesting new perspectives on the BOD for our club (not all positive, unfortunately), but hopefully the goings-on will become more transparent this year so that members will be more in the loop. Maybe I will even be able to plant a seed for getting some more social activities (read: for those who might not have a horse of their own, or want all the activities to revolve around who's got the best ride in town, etc). I'm talking conformation clinics, lectures, movie nights, potluck dinners, bowling, whatever! Anything that can bring a little more "warm and fuzzy" to our club would be a great addition! I wonder if other clubs have had similar situations?

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