Kelly and I talked about a few adjustments to my riding during my Saturday lesson to see if we can't get Ellie to like me a little more under saddle. She and I get along just fine on the ground but we need to connect during the ride, which we're just not doing right now.
To kick things off I'm going to start riding MORE. Ellie will still get her training rides but I'll be out after work to do 10-20 minutes of hack. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Working on no stirrups to build up the old legs.
Kelly also suggested some longe line lessons, bringing things back to basics to focus on balance and leg aids. So I was SUPER excited to see that Brook had Rouie and Winslow on the longe before my Sunday lesson. Of course I asked if I could have a go and Ellie and I trotted around for the entirety of our private lesson working on moving haunches and shoulders with legs and not hands.
I asked Rouie to take a few photos during the lesson for this blog and that's where things went a bit south. Ellie just looked so upset in every. single. photo. Ears pinned, back/ neck inverted. To see her so frustrated was just disheartening. I can understand when she gets snarky about too much inside rein, too much wiggling in the canter depart, too much nagging forward leg. I get it. I can be annoying.
But she's just being asked to go around in a circle at the trot. We were working specifically on a NON-nagging leg. I was trying to be light in my seat, down in my heels, and guide with quiet aids.
I am sure we will work through this once we figure out what she needs from me, but it's challenging to ride a horse that clearly wants nothing to do with you.