I cannot believe a month has already gone by! Now I am totally focused on learning how to ride Al! I am able to take two lessons each week, and at each lesson I get a homework assignment for the next one! I will send a photo of Al and I as soon as I get someone to take it.
There is an additional benefit to being here in Florida, which I am just finding it out. There are so many trainers in one place here from top Olympic riders/trainers to wonderful trainers who love helping everyone. You are able to go and watch lessons pretty much anywhere, which makes the learning experience even better. Conrad Schumacher has been in Florida since January 22nd and I went to see him first on January 27th. It was great to watch him work with the riders. A week later I went again and saw two of the same riders. I could see the improvements in transitions and quality of the movements. Yes there were still issues but it was extremely educational.
One of the riders that I had seen the week before was cantering outside the ring on the galloping track in Conrad's direction. I must of had a curious look on my face because Conrad explained that they took this horse to a schooling show for his first Grand Prix test and he became a totally different horse. He apparently became looky, fresh, pushy, etc. Conrad explained he needed a different approach to take the “steam out of the pot.” The horse became so soft in the jaw and pole when he came into the ring to start work! The third time I saw this pair they looked so calm and relaxed (this is a photo of them working on piaffe).
I will send more later, and I promise a photo of Al and me!