Here Brandi is working with Debra Peebles and her Arabian gelding Wyndikat (Vinny).
Brandi Benedict came back for another round of lessons last week. I was out of town for a week so Gwen had some time off, which she no doubt enjoyed. She loves nothing more than to get a bath, be groomed and generally fussed over, and Debra is doing an outstanding job at that.
I will admit I’ve been treating Gwen carefully under saddle. Not knowing her history and seeing she is sweet as can be, how could I be hard on her? At any rate, I’m notorious for not being very demanding of a horse. I’m one of those “why can’t we all get along” kind of people. And while Gwen is working well in the walk, it falls apart a bit in the trot. She gets very stiff and braced. We figure she has never learned the proper way to carry herself and is expecting something bad to happen. So I have been very accommodating to her. Brandi asked if she could get on her, which I readily obliged. Now Brandi is one of the finest, most correct dressage riders I know. She is demanding of the horse, but always very fair and keeps things very positive. But, she does expect a response from the horse when she asks a question. And as soon as the horse gives her a try at the right answer she rewards it. She is very “black and white”, which I know horses appreciate. I, on the other hand, am all sorts of shades of grey, which horses don’t always understand.
So Brandi got on Gwen and within moments Gwen realized she wasn’t in Kansas any more! Her ears flicked every which way. Her tail swished and her eyes got really big. She tried many ways to avoid doing what Brandi wanted, but she stayed persistent until Gwen gave in. Brandi was working hard. I even saw her face get red, but surprisingly, Gwen didn’t get that tired. Oh the endurance of those Arab/Thoroughbred crosses! The hard work paid off when, during the last trot set, Gwen started to understand and travel differently. Her tail became quiet and she wasn’t as fussy. She had a few wonderful moments and even showed some “stretchy” trot. Overall, she was a good girl and started to understand what was being asked of her. It gives us something to build upon and I also know that I can push Gwen a little harder without issue. As long as she gets plenty of treats and affection when we are done.
Gwen and Brandi looking fancy!