Today John surprised me by saying Yes, he did want to go to the lesson with me. Yay!
John has never done a lot with Scout other than pet him and lead him from place to place. But Scout will be his riding horse so today they had a lot of firsts. Scout hadn't been to the indoor arena before. He was a pill to saddle and unsaddle at the trailer. He needs more standing tied time. Then we went inside the arena and he was a little looky-loo but not bad. I showed John some of the groundwork we'd worked on in previous lessons and then handed "my" colt over to him.
Eventually the instructor got there and we decided we'd done enough ground work that we could mount up and get started. John had a great time on Scout, and Scout looked like he was really enjoying himself too. And John loved my wonderful lovely saddle that doesn't fit Tonka. Glad he can enjoy it. :)
Tonka was pretty reactive today. Worried and a bit herdbound. It resulted in a big bolt right toward Scout's butt. I couldn't get him stopped. He's always shut right down for me before, but he was in a special place today. As I tried to stop him I watched Scout's butt getting closer and closer, with my husband on board, and I was so afraid Scout was going to freak out and get John hurt. But he just stood there. He must be pretty used to Tonka's quirks. Tonka stopped when he got close to Scout, and we went back and worked out the kinks. It was funny because we had just been practicing our one-rein stops, and Tonka had done really well, but not so much when it mattered. Goof.
It was a really good lesson, although it was kinda short. Some things were explained to me in a better way than I've heard them before, so I actually understood what the point was. I might write more on that tomorrow. I'm too tired to try to figure out how to word it tonight.
Scout and Tonka both got tired toward the end of the lesson. Tonka's back-up got stiff and unwieldy, and Scout fell to his knees from the trot. So we decided to hang out in the middle while another lady worked with her horse in circles around us. It's fun to see other people make progress too, and to see their horse go from worried and challenging to relaxed and happy to do what's asked. And so quickly and easily, with no fight, just a little thought and work.
We got home and we were both pretty excited by how well it had gone. John has never ridden a horse as well trained as Scout. Well, not one that was cooperative anyway. So his experience was really great - finding the buttons and how to push them and feeling a willing response. I enjoyed seeing them work so well together. And I really enjoyed riding my own horse, even if he was a bit squirrely. I can't wait to keep up the good work. I'll be working with Grace this week too, but I'm going to make sure I keep Tonka in work so we can build on his conditioning and maybe make it all the way through the next lesson.