Lessons are being held today (Saturday) instead of the regular day of Sunday. Gary and Cindy headed over to the stables around 9:30 a.m. for Cindy & LBR's 10:30 a.m. group lesson.
Gary brought LBR up from his paddock while Cindy staged the tack and grooming supplies. LBR was a little excited because the early lesson was in progress and there was a lot of activity at the barn. Also, he did not get his alfalfa flake with his breakfast. The caretaker let us know so we planned on giving it to him after the lesson.
Gary groomed and tacked up LBR and then took him for a quick lunge. LBR started out perfectly in the lunge pen but got distracted by a foal cantering/bucking in the adjacent paddock. Gary refocused LBR nicely and finished the lunging.
Cindy mounted LBR in the sand arena for their lesson and LBR seemed settled. The flat work started off very well until LBR was cut-off and crowded out a few times. LBR seemed very anxious by this but Cindy remained focused.
During the ground pole work, LBR was rushing through the poles so the instructor made them repeat them several times until LBR traveled smoothly on a relaxed rein. Cindy's thighs were quivering after doing ground poles so many times.
The lesson split into two(2) groups next for cantering. LBR missed his lead (he was so distracted) twice and lunged into it on the final try. Cindy circled him at the far end of the arena until he settled into his rocking horse canter.
Due to all of the distractions, they did not canter any more as LBR was nervously chewing on his bit and having a lot of trouble focusing.
Cindy & LBR did a near perfect 6 item course. LBR listened, trotting in and cantering away and coming back to the trot nicely.
Cindy decided that LBR needed some mental focus time so they headed out for a trail ride. LBR was so wound up that it took three times around the outside of the grass arena for LBR to relax.
After that he walked on a loose rein - the only stearing Cindy did was with leg aids.
Cindy dismounted in the common area and took off LBR's tack. Gary then rinsed LBR off and checked his feet before taking down towards his paddock for some grazing.
Cindy brought treats and LBR's alfalfa flake down. She put his alfalfa in his shelter so that he could enjoy it in the shade.
LBR is so attached to them that when they left, he came back to the gate thinking they were going to stay. As they headed back to the car, LBR figured it out and returned to his delicious salad.
Tomorrow, Cindy is going to ride with the german martingale. It has been several months since she has used one, but previously, he responded to one ride in it by being more responsive and less anxious.