First off, a short person problem to deal with: my stirrup leathers don't go short enough and need an extra hole punched. Putting them up a couple of holes still resulted in unexpected awesomeness...my spurs can suddenly make contact with pony, and my lower leg doesn't slip back (as much, lol). Even on the flat, I think I will leave them a hole or two up from where I had them. I hate to admit this but I think S may have ridden in my saddle a few weeks ago and they got left way long. Further confession: I rarely ride with my feet actually in the irons, unless it's lesson day or we are trying to jump stuff.
|Bridget is wondering what just happened to her.|
Speaking of which, we had a jump lesson and we jumped stuff! At a canter! A whole course! We trotted to change leads and/or rebalance in the corners, I was freaking out inside, and it was wiggly and kind of ugly, but it still counts!
We started with a figure 8 over some trot poles, then switched them to canter poles, then added a little cross rail in between. Next, we added in an outside line of crossrails and a couple of verticals angling back across the center. So, we built things up gradually. Bridget and I had some ugly moments as far as steering went but EC is more of the "OK, moving on, next time try not to fall off" type of coach ( I exaggerate a bit here, of course. No one fell off. She's got great, useful input but as long as we are safe and not adversely affecting our horses she is more about pushing us and building confidence than getting it perfect every time) The jumps were tiny, so our "ugly" issues were with steering. Bridget gets excited and feels like she knows where she's going and wants to cut in. Pony's giving us homework for next time!
I could feel Bridget getting really pumped up as the lesson progressed. I can't even believe I'm typing this, but the other part of my homework this week is to relax and slow her canter down between fences. Specifically, practice the little line we set up and get an actual 5 strides in the line set for 5, rather than the 4 we got both times through. Partly my fault, as I was caught by surprise and not expecting to have to ask pony to slow down ever in this lifetime. Also, I was under the impression pony would need a little 'more' to get the horse strides and was chasing her a little. Nope, apparently pony has a BIG canter hiding in there . Live and learn, so my homework is to find that nice bouncier canter for next time.
Part of me is not confident about practicing this on my own, the other part feels like we'll be fine or else EC wouldn't set us loose unattended between lessons. Of course you can rest assured I'll be out there dressaging sans stirrups (and mile long reins most likely) too, so maybe she's thinking potentially smashing some poles is the lesser of the two evils? :)
|Another text break brought to you by Bridget|