Lesson night was pretty straightforward - those grids from the weekend got raised up a little and my only job was to ride them and stay out of superstar pony's way.
Our first trip through the bounces was...interesting. I got all muddled, asking for canter, not getting it, panicking a little, correcting pony's (quite sensible) decision to abort mission...which resulted in a giant leap into the grid. When EC said I was a knocked bit loose in the tack, she was being pretty kind :) Since I had told Ms Bridget We Are Doing This For Real, she took me at my word and somehow lept and contorted over the other two essentially from a standstill each time and still didn't bump a pole. I, however bumped my face off her neck midway and stuck a tooth in my lip. "Oh dear", said EC, "better try that again." EC is obviously not very easily scared by bad riding, or perhaps she was simply fascinated by whatever physics were keeping me in the saddle.
Thankfully, I learned my lesson and did not smash my face into the ever patient pony's neck again. I did manage to do lots of other things that would make GM cry, but it got better and better and that's what I'm clinging to rather than the initial failure(s).
The line of three one strides rode nicely, although Midge was wanting to be a bit wiggly and backed off since we were headed away from the barn. She's a funny little thing, she purposely tries to jump to the outsides of the x's because obviously that is much more fun and exciting than the boring 2' middle part.
I finished off with the dreaded no reins/hands out to the sides exercise. Midge thinks it's a fantastic exercise, because see above about charging in and jumping the biggest part of the fences, then bucking and swerving around in celebration, because obviously she's the best ever at tiny grids. I felt pretty secure and fine with the no reins thing (the one time my bad habit of riding with super long reins pays dividends) but more practice is needed before lines of bounces will feel easy from a general riding perspective- my timing is definitely a bit suspect and I am a bit ahead going in more often that not. Bridget is really honest about going to the jumps, less so about staying straight without reins, so we can work on that too. Makes sense since her go to evasion on the flat is running through my leg.
The best thing about it all? Technically speaking it was the worst riding I've done in just about forever. But, as I said to EC "That was still SO much fun! Imagine how much fun it will be when I learn to actually ride!" Seriously though, we're both getting pretty excited to take Bridget out on the cross country course this spring - she's going to love it!