Monday night: my favorite because it's lesson night! There were 4 of us at tonight's lesson, all adults. EC likes to keep groups at 3 maximum, but seriously, 4 organized adults worked great and felt way less chaotic than sharing with even 2 kids. That's obviously just my feeling though!
Wondering if trainer got her inspiration from the Jim Wofford clinic this weekend. Clinic notes coming soon!
EC had some gymnastic exercises planned for the night. Our little group has sort of a varied amount of confidence and experience, so starting off small is a must! First off, ground poles...7 of them spaced as canter poles. Midge had to really stretch to make the strides and fit in with the big horses, but she got there. Next, the middle pole was turned into a teeny cross rail. Midge got excited about that and I had a bit of a job keeping her canter consistent, but again, not a big problem. Next, the second pole also got replaced by a cross rail. No issues. Since a couple of our lesson mates were having a bit of trouble, the exercise had to stay the same, but I was told to ride it without my reins (arms out like I'm flying- ha ha all I could think is that cheesy scene from the Titanic movie). Pony straightness actually still was a thing without reins. Also, I learned that at some point in the last year my balance has magically improved over fences. No hands = zero problem.
Lots of poles
Next up, a third cross rail was added to the end of the line. So, canter pole, cross rail, one stride (with canter pole) to cross rail, and another one stride ( with canter pole) to the final jump, and one last pole after that. Again, Midge was a star, but still a little over enthusiastic. No reins went fine, but the steering got slightly dodgy coming out of it! Everyone else was pretty much done, so EC raised it all up to "serious" Midge height (center of x's maybe 2'3"). Midge jumped in way big and we had a bit if a moment getting out over the second, but the third rode great. Back around one final time and Midge was taking no chances, way over jumping but being very careful with her feet over the ground poles and letting me make adjustments as needed. Good pony! Confident, but not rushing - just what we wanted. Great practice for me too, because everything comes up rather quickly and I still tend to get in a bit of a muddle and jump ahead. This really forced me to sit up and wait! Pony loved it too, and felt super confident. EC says she loves building big x's for that reason - visually, they look imposing, particularly in a gymnastic line, but realistically if you stay straight over the center they aren't big at all. Gives everyone lots of confidence!
Hand grazing for good ponies
All in all, this was my favorite Bridget ride in many months :)