On Thursday I went for my second riding lesson with the wonderful Tony Hansen. I live in the city center of Oslo, and the barn is in Lier (near Drammen) so without a friend to drive me this week, I took public transportation! 1.5 hrs each way 🙂
I took a train, a bus, and then 15 minute walk (well, I jogged) in the snow to the barn! But well worth it!
I watched a few minutes of the lesson before me, a talented young show jumper and then headed into the stables to tack up my lovely horse.
In this lesson we got right into trot transitions, canter transitions and then straight to jumping. Tony’s main pointers in this lesson were to keep my horse more together in the transitions. I was letting the horse get long and low, then collapse into a lower speed, Tony suggested I sit back and up more, collecting the canter upwards, and descending into a nice full collected trot. My instinct is to lean forward, release the hand and leg, and let my horse reach down and long to slow down, which is incorrect. As we began jumping Tony’s technique definitely helped.
We started with two cross rails set on angles, with a trot pole before each. I would land in the canter, get the lead, then collect the canter and then transition to trot, working the two trot jumps into a figure 8.
We progressed into a single outside trot pole to cross rail, canter two strides over a pole, stay straight, collect around the turn, canter with even strides to a jump set on an angle, straight to the corner, making an effort to sit up tall in the corner, lifting the inside rein a bit while adding outside leg to achieve a nice balanced turn, and then keep an even pace to the next fence.
My horse and I are getting to know each other much better already! He seemed much more relaxed this time, and we were able to achieve a lot, I’m starting to fall in love with this little horse! I can’t wait until next time! Although it won’t be for a few weeks, because Tony and his show students (about 15 of them!), will be away competing at the Arctic Equestrian Games from February 16-26, but he encouraged me to come watch and I’ll definitely try to get there!