Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm not good at sharing

So things with leasers #2 and #3 were tested this weekend since I was out of town. #3 had Saturday and Monday all to herself, with mixed reviews. One spectator said that things were going well, one said that it got quite scary. She ended up 'unseated' and on Bijou's neck at one point, which I don't call safe riding. I guess she tried to have Bijou go through a set of about 5 trot poles, which were raised 6" on one end or the other. I know this is a simple exercise, and I know I probably should be doing this stuff in my sleep with her now, but for her it is a lot to ask. She texted me and said that she had been a "pest" in the beginning, but that they worked it out. I don't like that she's moving up so quickly with what she feels comfortable doing. I had her walk and trot over a single pole on the ground in one of our lessons which was a challenge... so I just don't know if we're missing the common sense gene, or if she really thought it wouldn't be a big deal.

Add on to the above eye witness accounts - when I rode today things were tense, stiff, naughty, and unwilling. I feel like since I haven't been riding over this weekend Bijou has regressed back about a month. That's with #3 riding twice without me... that's not a good sign in my book. She took 1/2 an hour to supple down at the trot, and she just would not give me any kind of flexion in the canter until we had been doing the 1/2 arena circle about 10 times. I actually heard her start wheezing because she was holding her head so high. I finally got her to give just a little bit and called it good. Definitely not a fun ride, and feels like I have a lot of work to do.

I like this girl, I think she's a good rider, but I think she just might not be right for Bijou. I don't want to sound like a horrible person and tell her that she's doing everything wrong, but I think I have to do something. I guess I've kinda decided that I'm just going to lay it out like it is and see what she thinks of the whole situation... hopefully it will turn out well.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Don't Jinx it

... but I think I'm slated for our debut into the show ring! There is a really cute little show about a half hour away that's coming up on March 18th. I have to break in my new tall boots before then, but other than that I think I'm going. I'm only going to enter dumb stuff like walk/trot, because I don't think I can take the pressure of trying something challenging for this first show, and I want to make sure that it is a good experience for Bijou first and foremost. The only bad thing is that Open walk/trot is THE. VERY. FIRST. CLASS. This means I'll have very little time to warm up unless I get up practically in the middle of the night...

I'm still really really excited!! Now I just have to practice things as if I were at a show, and clean my tack! And find all my show clothes!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Leaser option number 2 and 3

Leaser #2 started her riding career many years ago riding english and doing hunter/jumper stuff. Then she up 'n went western and has been working for western pleasure trainers for the last 10 years or so. She's a really good rider, and has a good seat. She struggled for a minute with finding contact with Bijou's mouth again after so long of a loose neck rein, but it came back to her surprisingly quickly with a few pointers. She has a style all her own, not timid, but just... nice. She likes to take things slow and not overwhelm either of them. I don't know how that will play out in the future but it seems to work pretty well. When I think about trying to have a 'nice' ride it usually helps, so that's a good sign.

I have already contacted leaser #1 and told her that she's not quite the right fit for what I was looking for. She'd need quite a few lessons for me to feel comfortable with her riding by herself, and then I'd still be a little worried. Leaser #3 was not that great about getting back to me, and leaser #2 was a really good fit, so I told her that she 'got it' I guess you'd call it... the whole leaser/lessee relationship weirdness topic will have to wait for another day.

So then, I had leaser #3 get back to me. I told her that I'd actually had a lot of interest and that I would like to charge someone a small leasing fee ($75) thinking that it would dissuade her. I guess I was wrong. She was happy to pay a fee, and came out and is also a really good rider but has a much more aggressive attitude. She and Bijou got into a few fights with her mouth, but we were able to talk her back into being good. She has been coming out in the morning to get lessons from me and I think Bijou gets pissed when we take her away from her food, so she's usually in need of a round pen romp before she can be trusted.

Now I've gotten myself into a pickle because with two people riding 3 days a week each, it means that I either have to ride my horse as a second ride for her for the day, or I only get one day a week... Right now I'm going to try to make it work because #3 isn't available on weekends, which is when I really need someone, but I think down the road she's going to be more valuable as a team of people riding Bijou than #2. #2 gets in less fights with Bijou and has a 'better' ride, but she also is very hesitant to do many things like go over poles etc. I like them both, but I can't tell who's going to really end up working out better yet. I've also picked up more hours at work, so if I don't have to go ride it means I can do things like cook or laundry or any of my other life stuff... but I would rather ride than do life stuff! Ugh. Having a horse is hard, but I guess I wouldn't have it any other way :P