Thursday, 7 April 2016

Cruisin'

Where we last left off, I had switched up bits and had great success with my new "ride her like she's sweet" mantra.

Monday, we were all on our own for our lesson, so I asked to check in on my progress with the canter. Two big thumbs up from EC, apparently it looks 100% better than a couple of weeks ago. Which is good, because it sure feels better! We did a ton of transitions, basically never riding more than a quarter circle without one. The trick with the down transitions was to only make them last a stride before going back up for a few strides. Both up and down of course needed to be perfectly straight and coming from behind. That was quite a big ask for us, but for whatever reason it all flowed super nicely and came quite easy. For once I felt like Bridget and I both showed up to work on the same day!
We're going to ranch and vineyard country next week, can't wait!

EC was not convinced the eggbutt snaffle is the answer, as B was wanting to really take it and lean and stay slightly above it. She had an idea, though and asked us to do a couple of jump courses before she vetoed it. And...they were awesome. That taking hold worked to my advantage as she was quite confident about taking me along to the jumps ( In the loose ring French link she's normally really needing to be pushed to the contact). So, we'll keep it in the line up for jumping and look for something else for dressage.

Last night, we had a shared jump lesson. And our lesson mate was none other than our good friend Ginger mare! So cool! We rode a few fun courses and I have to say, Bridget just owned it. Tricky distances, weird bendy lines, tight turns - the pony was soft and consistent and made me look way better than I am. Our canter boot camp is paying huge dividends right now. Ginger did so well also, she's still pretty green over fences and figuring it out a little but she's super honest and capable.
Lots of tight turns and effective use of the corners required. EC is really good at stealthily raising the jumps mid round while your back is turned - that yellow oxer ended up large-ish for us and made me a little worried when I made the turn to it since it's only 2 strides on an uphill out of the corner away from the barn, basically the Midge trifecta for backing off. It rode no problem though, and we left feeling really confident.

It was a little weird to see Ginger going so well but then realize Midge is currently further along in her training and the nicer ride. Ginger has felt like the gold standard to me for so long that I guess it never occurred to me that Bridget would catch up to her.  Also, if I'm being honest, even though we have a great partnership, training and riding Bridget feels like hard (but still fun) work 99% of the time! I fall into the trap of thinking that because it's more of a struggle for us we will forever be behind the curve. I may have to rethink that train of thought because somehow we've made significant progress over the winter :) Proof that just showing up and putting the hours in can make bigger differences than you'd at first think possible!

This weekend, I'm off to visit home, because the following we will be away at eventing camp at the above mentioned ranch and vineyard part of the province. Ginger is coming too, which I'm quite looking forward to. The weekend after that is a local jumper schooling show, the weekend following that is the first spring event. Then a dressage show! Basically, horse adventures every weekend for the next 6 weeks. Spring must be here, we'll see how many weekends I can handle before I'm burnt out!

6 comments:

  1. Yay for progress and all the exciting times you have ahead of you :) hard work definitely pays off.

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  2. Yay!! So happy for both of you! I think we're going to be doing canter boot camp as well!

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  3. You win fanciest jump picture award!

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  4. How cool to feel like Bridget is suddenly the better schooled of the two! Just goes to show what being comfortable pushing for more can do!! :D

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