I started at a walk for a bit, then trot, then eased her into a canter. I was warned that since it was a bigger area, she would want to RUN and I would have to hold her back. She did want to take off at first, but she also listened well. Still, she is a little freight train! I hadn't really had the chance yet to see how she handled, outside of going in circles, or the one time we galloped down the Yabusame track. I now know that she can turn quickly! She came close to unseating me just once - as I was figuring this out - but I stayed with her. I had a lot of fun trying out different things and I was so happy that much of what I had learned about training and riding over the years came back to me (I've been afraid I would forget everything). Particularly, I remembered things I had learned from Buck Brannaman about opening and closing doors. I had some neat moments with that. Mulan is certainly "handy".
At the end of the ride, Bandi-san asked me to join her and Tsukako-san in their corner. She took pictures of us with her phone and when I handed her mine, she asked if I'd like pictures of us running. Yes! So, Mulan and I took off and did a wonderful "hot lap" of the whole arena. Bandi-san took a lot of pictures.
Where are they?
Well, that brings us to the bad day part of the post.
I had carried my phone in my coat pocket during last week's lesson and did it again this time. At some point during my ride, I realized it was gone; it had fallen out of my pocket. My concern was being able to find it in the deep snow. Luckily, I found it. Unluckily. it had been stepped on. It was *bent*. It worked long enough for Bandi-san to take pictures and I hoped that meant all was well, but it wasn't.
Jeff and I went into our cell phone provider and they gave me a loaner phone while sending mine off for either repairs or replacement. They asked if I wanted to back up anything from it, but at that point it was stuck in a constant restart cycle and that wasn't an option. I was fairly confident that my auto backup would have all of the pictures saved.
I just checked and... yes, all of my pictures, video, etc. are preserved... except the pictures of me on Mulan this past Saturday. :( I guess the backup didn't get a chance to happen before the phone went into it's death throes.
It was still a good day, afterward riding we hung out in the office for a while, having a snack, some hot tea, and good conversation, I met a new horse-loving friend named Hana and we talked quite a bit, mostly about horses! As we were all leaving, she shook my hand and then gave me a hug. :)
Killed phone and all, it really was another good day.
Since I have no pictures of the day, here's a picture of my cat. Cat pictures are always good, right?
She was passed out in between us on the couch last night, while I cross stitched and Jeff worked on one of his R/C controllers.