It’s been a little while since I rode Steen in the two-rein, and I feel like I’ve addressed a lot of the weaknesses riding in it last brought to light for me. On Tuesdays, I have my lessons with my student, J. She’s been riding with me for close to a year now, but we’ve had some big breaks during that time. Lately, she’s been coming out consistently again. I’ve had her riding Laredo, and she’s really clicking with him. It’s actually pretty fantastic to see your student and the horse you’ve trained getting along so well.
Last week, J had her best lesson by a wide margin, and her progress got me thinking about my progress. Usually during her lessons, I pretty much just sit on Steen and watch, occasionally using him to demonstrate some maneuver or other. It occurred to me that one of the things Steen needs in terms of us settling into the two-rein is time. He just needs to get used to wearing the spade.
So today, I rode Steen in the two-rein while I gave J her lesson. And things went quite well. Steen was fine with the bit, as he has been. For the lesson, I left the romal reins hitched around the horn, because I was paying a lot more attention to J and Laredo than Steen. When J left, I rode a little longer, to see what I could get done with both sets of reins in my hands. I was pleased to discover I could easily accomplish many of the things that were hard for us to get done with one hand last time I checked in on the two-rein. Still, I didn’t push our limits. We mostly worked at the walk, with a bit of trotting and one little canter mixed in.
From here, I’m going to try to ride in the two-rein more consistently. Part of my difficulty getting going, I will admit, is simply my own ineptitude. I am not very competent at managing both the mecate and the romals. It feels like I have so much to learn and refine and understand. Fortunately, the work I did this winter on getting my seat and leg responses more consistent and refined was a big help today. Our communication never broke down, Steen never got upset, and I never did anything too clumsy.
The reality is, the only way I’m going to learn to use this equipment is to … well … use it. As with everything I’ve done with Steen, I’m just going to take it slow and see where the journey takes us.
Ride Time: 0:45
Horseback Hours YTD: 71:00