|Challenge feels too high, competency rather low. Not pictured: High temperatures also creating a downward trend, motivation wise. Pic via Google images/corpmagazine.com|
We started off with EC being inspired by something she saw at the Karen O'Connor clinic and looping our reins so we essentially could not use them for balance, ever :)
We did about
11 million years a few laps of the arena in galloping position, followed by some more in two point, then some more in a half seat, W/T/C, excellent for me as I'm not sure I've ever had a formal "this is where your body should be for jumping/xc" type session. My legs were unhappy after the 15 min or so that took, obviously something I need to work on. In related news, without seat or hand, Midge was not steering as well as she should off my leg. She knows better, but apparently I back it up with rein aids normally...so she was progressively getting worse about falling in/out in the turns. Eventually, my stick had to make a friendly reminder to her about staying honest. Next up, we moved onto a grid...
We started off with 6 poles spaced at 9' intervals, much shorter than Midge's natural stride. The challenge, obviously to keep a suitable and consistent canter through the line. Also, please stay straight, and with varying instructions of two point, standing in stirrups, hands pushing into neck, arms out to side, etc. This was ok from a rider put your body here standpoint, not so easy from a keep the pony in a shorter canter with minimal seat/rein standpoint.
|Progression of exercise like so.|
Next, the grid was changed to two small x's with a pole in the middle, creating a short three stride line. Repeat above. Midge got 2 large strides the first time, then tried jumping in big and wobbling and quitting. Awkward, but confidence boosting in a way as even without reins she was dead honest about getting through...it just wasn't pretty. Also I can ride some really awkward stuff with no hands, so that's good.
Next the second fence was changed into a biggish oxer. This is when I finally got it together and got her forward enough to make it happen and feel good.
I won't lie, I was a little frustrated and was wishing for a horse like my lesson mate's that would just honestly pick up a nice steady canter and take me through the grid with minimal rider input so I could work more on my position...but obviously that's the exact wrong approach. I appreciate the smart, thinking pony I have and don't want a robot lesson pony. We'll both be better for keeping on the way we're going. I am better to be happy we jumped through some grids and rode for an entire lesson with no reins and it actually wasn't super difficult. For the stage we're at it's probably nitpicky of me to be focusing on the fact she wasn't as straight as I'm used to :)