|The sass is strong with this one|
Trainer on perfectly sound Mae
To which I responded by immediately scheduling a lesson. Work schedule be damned. My patience had run out, and we were going to nip this in the bud.
So when I saddled her up and walked to the large outdoor arena with my trainer, I wasn’t surprised when Mae didn’t take a wrong step. There wasn't even the slightest hitch in her step.
We had a lovely flat lesson, and my trainer showed me a few tricks that she had been working on. I could engage the outside rein, inside leg (softly) to make her body completely rounded along my inside leg. I could also engage the outside rein (quite hard) to make her drop her head and lift her back, then immediately softening my hands, she would work, by herself, with her head held in a lovely position. We also worked on my body positioning and balance during the canter. At this point, we’re continuing to two-point the canter, but Mae’s body is strong enough to balance both of us during a steady canter. I have a long torso and tend to tip forward, and I have to work on not leaning on her neck.
And then the pièce de résistance of the ride. Asking Mae to back up.
My Ryon would back up willingly with just a few taps on the shoulder with my leg. Mae freezes in place. All the veins in her neck and chest bulge, and she plants her front feet and locks her joints. With me on her back, she wouldn’t take a single step back until my trainer started poking her in the chest with an umbrella. The trainer had not gotten this type of resistance from her before, so she hopped on board with her flip flops and work out shorts. Again, Mae froze and then seeking to dodge contact, spun and bunny hopped. Trainer again asked her to back up, and when she finally figured out who was riding her, she acquiesced and did as she was asked. My turn again. I hopped on, sat back in my seat, and fluttered my outside rein. No movement. I tried again. Mae dodged contact, reared up and spun on her two back legs, one direction then the other direction, which was the highest any horse has ever reared with me on board. There was most certainly a moment where I was nervous she was going to fall backward and land on top of me. I stayed on (practice your no stirrup flatwork!) and asked her again - fluttered outside rein and sat back. This time she listened and backed up with no resistance. We backed up for a dozen steps to reinforce the lesson and then called it a day.