Lesson 2 of our December gymnastic boot camp is in the books.
It was something like 10 degrees C colder than our normal winter average, and I was definitely feeling it. I need to break out my Alberta winter gear for the weekends rides, I think!
Bridget warmed up kind of fresh and stuck at the same time. I tried my best to be soft and patient with my bouncy pony ball of tension. Eventually, it felt ok, then all of the sudden it felt like I forgot to ride. Either my butt was too numb from the cold to post quietly, or Bridget was really lifting her back up and it and the saddle were meeting me a millisecond before I expected. As I was adjusting, EC again proved she has eyes in the back of her head and voted for option 2. Good to know, now I have a feel for the trot we really want. The good news is that trot flowed into a lovely canter, and I was able to get that trot back again pretty easily after. There's hope yet for our dressage!
The previous lesson ended just as I was inadvertently finding a dressage groove, so the change of focus to jumping felt a little abrupt. Luckily, we started easy, with grids made of poles on the ground like so:
Then progressed to the first of each turning into a crossrails, and eventually ending with all the poles bumped up to about 2'. And, we did fine. I still have so much to work on, but compared to last year, I feel quite secure and balanced not matter what is going on and am much better able to make corrections to my position. I can implement suggestions mid grid, rather than my previous go to of just getting in there and hoping not to die :) Will I ever look pretty over fences? Likely not at this rate. I do believe good equitation equals good riding made easier so I will certainly not give up and will keep trying to be a little closer to GM approved.
Bridget was a good girl. I would have hoped for her to be a bit more forward thinking, but if we again compare to last year she's much improved. She was amazingly honest and had zero issues with finding where her feet should be this time. She still requires the odd bit of encouragement not to quit mid way, but she's getting so much closer to the place where she will be experienced enough to just take me thru with minimal rider input.
I'm impatient and want to be better/fitter/braver NOW, so it's good when we have these types of lessons where I can see a little improvement in my riding.
All in all, an excellent, confidence boosting ride!