Woohoo we had a lesson! It was only one week that we missed, but I seriously love our lessons so much. One week off is one week too many. And, in true awesome form, manfriend came to take videos! Finally there will be some relevant pictures to break up the wall of text- be warned, the pics are all screenshots from videos, so they’re super blurry and motion-y. I think it looks kinda cool.
Anywho. We had a pretty basic warmup on the flat, just to get our muscles warmed up. Pretty Girl was clearly feeling real good; just waiting for the chance to run around. No turnout yesterday due to rain = pony turning into a racehorse. I loved it though; she had been so tired and lazy on Monday and I much prefer my peppy pony. We like the go button!
We popped over a crossrail a couple times after WTCing in both directions and then it was time for fun! Here’s how the jumps were set up (there were others in the ring that we didn’t jump, so they’re not included in the diagram):
We warmed up on the outside line a couple times (D-E) which seemed to bother Addy- she was extremely wiggly in that line. Some strong inside leg and opening outside rein fixed that our second time through. We then slowly built up our first course at 2’6″ ish: A-B-C-D-E-F-G. Very alphabetical. The long approach to A was a little difficult, so we ended up taking a flyer. I focused so much on getting her moving to start our course and didn’t focus enough on packaging her up once she realized what we were doing. Then it was around to the diagonal line in 3, which was pretty comfortable- not a forward ride but didn’t need too much woah either. Then up the outside in three, which was a lovely forward three. One horse did it in a comfortable 4 but Addy was very happy to open up and leave it out. It flowed beautifully up out of the corner. Then down the long approach to the green oxer, and up the single outside vertical.
Time to put the jumps up! I didn’t actually measure, but my extremely professional eye estimates that most jumps were 2’9″-3′, with the outside oxer looking closer to 3’3″. But I’m making that up. I actually have no idea. Let’s roll with it. But it was totally no big deal! No panic attacks over bigger jumps, it was just something to do. Woohoo!
The course that we worked on the most was: g-D-E-F-G-B-C. So.
Down the outside single.
Up the outside line.
Down the diagonal oxer.
Up the outside vertical.
And down the diagonal line (no stills of that line, sorry!).
OMG I love having pictures. This was a really fun course, even if it was pretty basic. The outside single and outside line both rode up very comfortably out of the corners- we did chip in to the single once but managed to correct that on our next try. That diagonal oxer gave us all sorts of difficulties though- Addy really charged at it like we were jousting and wasn’t inclined to collect at all. Once I managed to arm-wrestle her into an actual canter instead of a WE-CAN’T-GET-TIME-FAULTS-hand-gallop, it actually rode up very nicely out of the corner. The diagonal line did come up a little tight out of that corner, but Addy handled that with grace and listened to my half halt to fit the three in.
For your viewing pleasure, here are the videos manfriend took for me. Notice the expert panning, perfect zoom-in-zoom-out, and general skill there! For better or for worse, manfriend has gotten quite good at filming.
Something I noticed from watching the video: holy moly oh my goodness do I lean at the jumps. I’m like the leaning tower of Pisa. I need to sit up straight!!! Addy responds so much better to that nice deep upright ride, and I need to give it to her! Funny how you don’t feel something, but then you see it and it hits you like a load of bricks. I knew she was pulling me a little forward out of the tack, but didn’t realize it was quite so noticeable.
Something else I noticed: we got every lead change! This is a fairly new development, which I think stems from (a) Pretty Girl building up her muscle in more consistent work and (b) I’m staying out of her way more. It’s the weirdest thing, she will never give a lead change if you ask, but will do them perfectly cleanly if you don’t touch her. I kinda admire her “let me do it myself” attitude.
So my homework:
- Work on sitting more upright and deeper in the saddle.
- Keep working without stirrups so I can hold my leg more still over the jump.
- Remember to use my automatic release over the bigger jumps instead of the weird crest-auto release I used here.
- Keep adding the fricking leg. How do I keep forgetting this. I iz so dum.
I’m so so so grateful to manfriend, who not only braved his spring allergies to come out, but braved his really terrible indoor allergies to stay and film every course. (Anyone know what he might be allergic to? He seems to be fine in the barn and at shows, but turns into a sneeze-machine in our indoor. I can’t tell if it’s the dust, dander, poop, pee, hair, or some combination of the petri dish that is an indoor.)
My question to you this week: What habit have you only noticed when you see a video of yourself? How did you correct it?