Our last day included one last lesson, and I could tell that my pony was pooped the second I got on him. I'm sure he was thinking "Listen, lady. I'm seventeen. I haven't worked this hard in almost three years. I need a break, okay?!"
We started warming up the trot and my trainer was very happy with how he looked. She said he was much straighter and had better rhythm than the first day. She also said that not once did she see uneven strides like she did when he was hurt. My trainer's mother was there too, and she said "Your horse looks go good! He looks like the old Kaswyn again!"
We worked a bit on some trot serpentines, concentrating on keeping the speed and rhythm consistent. The we did some canter work and schooled the shoulder fore counter bending exercise. He has gotten quite good at that and after I do one or two bends he really is able to come over and through his back, especially just behind the saddle. It's very nice!
After a short walk break we schooled the canter half pass. I wish I had asked her to video me, but I didn't think about it. Regardless, the half passes were fairly good, even if my horse was beginning to fade a little. To get him a bit excited my trainer asked for some flying changes. We did two lines of changes every four strides, then schooled more half pass. Then she asked for two lines of changes every three strides, and we got into a bit of trouble here.
Kaswyn has a tendency to to change overly fast from right lead to left lead, and slow from left lead to right lead. There are a few reasons for this, the main one that I feel is that he gets too complacent about my left leg and ignores it a little when I ask for the change. Also I know that my left leg is not as effective or strong as my right, nor does it stay where it needs to be all the time. So when asking for the changes every three strides the changes come more quickly and he just wasn't ready for me to ask for it. Like always, my horse thinks too much and was thinking change every fourth stride when it was really going to be every third. Lastly I know that he gets his weight and my weight so far over his left side that it's hard for him to get off the left shoulder and make the change to the right.
We worked through it though, and when I asked him to walk I could feel him saying oh thank God! We ended the lesson after thirty minutes, and I know he was happy. I would have liked to school some more, but he was tired and I knew he had enough for today.
It was time to pack my car, because my trainer was planning to take Kaswyn home the next morning on her way out of town for a show. I know he's going to be happy to be home, because he'll be back with his turnout buddies, spending all night outside on the grass and all day in his stall napping.
Before I drove home I made plans with my trainer to come back in six to eight weeks and do it all over again. I think we made so much progress! Thinking of what we could accomplish with weekly lessons makes me want to cry. But I didn't cry, even though I wanted to. I know I'll be back.
And if I have my way, we'll be showing next spring. Somehow we WILL get there.