The week was flying by the food was still incredible and we all looked forward to every meal. First on the scheduele was XC with Peter at 3pm. Which meant a slow morning, which I so needed. And lots of time to ride along on course with Peter on earlier lessons. OH and plenty of time for eating! Have I mentioned the amazing food?!
Finally time came for our lesson so with my bridle and a borrowed martingale we headed out to warm up a bit early. But wait Peter was waiting and said hurry up as he flew away in his golf cart. Oh well, I guess we are starting early. First thing out he does a short lecture on cantering and sends us out to canter through the field.
Ahhhhh guess what Steady was head high, strong, and unbalanced for most of the first moments. As is Peter's tradition after a few go arounds he has everyone come in to have a chat. Two of us clearly had alot of work to do at the canter and the third he gave a few tips but then had them start jumping a bit. Steady and I were on a circle trying to perfect a balance canter....humpf...xc my butt. Ok ok I understood that I needed that canter more than I need to jump anything so we continued to work.
Uh Steady do you think you could get your head just a little higher I don't think it is quite high enough yet....geeez.
Then we moved to the water complex and walked through the water a bit as he lectured then off to the field for more cantering for us. We worked and got a few moments of beautiful canter and Peter said if this horse was in training with him if he gave him a half circle of a beautiful canter he would hop off, pat him and let him eat grass for a bit and be done. I loved to hear him say that because I think that will help to incorperate some of that into our work. So time was almost up and we had spent the entire time cantering in circles. Peter has a chat with me and I express my desire to jump something, anything. By express I mean I started crying like a baby. I felt so stupid. It was not on purpose and I couldn't stop the tears. It was just disappointment but I was still happy with my lesson. But it made Peter feel quite awful. He appologized over and over and I kept saying that he is right and I am not upset at him in any way but he is a sucker for a crying girl. So he said if I can get a nice balanced canter long enough to get through the Lincoln log to water to the red steps I could do it. We did and it was beautiful and fun! I jumped off and gave Peter a big hug and thanked him. I was mostly grateful that even though I was being silly he took my feelings seriously and without jeopoardizing anyone still allowed me to satisfied.
Working on a better balanced canter in an open field was added to our list of training endeavours. Open spaces, speed and racehorse are not the best combination. During one of the sessions I was sitting in on I was talking to a gal and I mentioned how I was afraid to gallop my horse. She said why? I said, because he used to race and was really good at it. She laughed. I also know now that lack of fitness was adding to the problem. He just was not capable of carrying himself correctly for long periods of time. So he was often unbalanced and falling out through his shoulder. And as Peter said if a horse is unbalanced his back goes down, if his back goes down his head goes up, if his head goes up he is in flight, if he is in flight we become a predator. So with each long hot hard day of tough lessons he was progressively getting a bit more flighty. Which soreness, fitness and stress were all contributing factors. Non of which are his fault. He was trying and pushing because I was asking him to but he just was struggling and I could tell.
No matter what he still is a pretty boy, frantic racehorse temperment or not.