I had a lesson today, which went pretty well. We did trotting in serpentines and after I was able to get it through my head what direction to go Girlfriend and I did well. I can ride the serpentines and did well with keeping Girl turning the right direction and straight at the right time, but I swear I'm dyslexic when it comes to visualizing shapes. Trainer V. ran through the serpentine one direction and then I was able to do it. Then she told me to go the other direction and I got all confused and couldn't do it and Trainer V. ended up yelling, "Where are you going?" and I explained I can't visualize shapes and needed her to run through the pattern for me the other direction too. It's the strangest thing. I try my hardest to visualize shapes but it's like that ability is just missing in my brain. I can visualize a circle or square but anything more complicated I can't. But as long as Trainer T. could run through it and I could say outloud "I go past the pylon on the right, then turn left ..." I could do it. So other than my shape dyslexia we did well on the serpentines and Girl did really well on her collection and bending at the turns. She's so easy to ride now though I don't feel like I can take much credit for it.
After my lesson I brought Sinatra out in the arena because I had fifteen minutes before I had to go pick up my daughter from her friend, Diego's house. I thought we could practice some walking on the lunge line and maybe even a little trotting if he's doing ok. I figured he's not supposed to work, but that doesn't mean we can't do some easy ground work to keep him in good manners. He started out doing really well despite that one of the kids was riding Gabriel on the other side of the arena. She's the one selling the OTTB (Off-the-Track-ThoroughBred), Tuff Toad who I am madly in love with. After Toad sells she's buying Gabriel who is a better fit for her. If only I had enough money to buy Toad and the pay a trainer to work with him really hard for a few months to get him re-trained for dressage instead of racing. Anyway ... fantasies aside ...
Sinatra started out walking really well on the lunge line and Trainer V. commented on how well he was doing. Then he stopped and changed direction and when I tried to get him to turn around he started trotting, then tried to run off a little. Trainer V. came over and said, "Let me show you how to do that," and got him to turn back around in the correct direction. But then Trainer V.'s daughter came him with her pony and Sinatra got all excited about that and started running and doing his Lipazzaner leaps. Trainer V. tried to calm him down back to a walk and he reared and bolted away from her and ran straight toward me - I had gone to sit in the middle of the arena on the mounting block. So, I got up and ran to the arena door and stood right outside it because it looked like Sinatra thought he as going to run right up to me and crawl into my lap. Trainer V. regained control, got him back on the circle at a walk for a moment, then he bolted again, this time trying to take off straight for the other two horses on the other side of the arena. Trainer V. braced herself on the ground, holding the lunge rope and he literally started pulling her across the ground with her heels making tracks in the footing as she was pulled along. She managed to regain traction with her feet and keep him from getting to the other horses just as he got to the three step mounting block, so he swerved and jumped it - actually with perfect form. It was quite lovely there for a second. Trainer V. managed to reel him in and said that was that and he was done because he wasn't supposed to be running and jumping like that right now. Plus, it puts the other riders at risk when he acts up like that. She handed him back to me and he got all mellow and followed me politely back to his stall as usual. Well, he balked at the door leaving the arena and stood there for a second challenging me to let him stay and play, but when I told him no he sighed and followed me back to his stall just like his old self. Still, after his antics today I'm wondering if I'm totally out of my league with him. And wondering if I'm totally nuts for thinking he could possibly be a good horse for my daughter in a couple years.
So, that was a fiasco. I'm going back tomorrow afternoon and Trainer V. said we'd work on lunging him at a walk, trot again tomorrow with no horses in the arena. But if he acts up like that again we have to not try any more for a couple more months because he's not supposed to be "working" - meaning he's not supposed to be actively running and especially not jumping like that.