DragonMare Attacks

I’m baaaack!

So I realized that I didn’t give a lesson review last week (I was busy hopping on a plane to RI and it got lost amidst the many festivities happening). I’ll briefly say that we did some fairly simple courses with a couple tough turns, and that Addy was a very good girl. Extremely heavy and barreling around without listening very carefully (we almost ran over my trainer because Addy disagreed with what jump we should be heading to), but she was honest and jumped everything from all sorts of angles.

On to this week! First of all, I got myself some fancypants and a new bonnet for Addy, so I was pretty psyched about looking cool. I’m a big fan of “dressing up” a little bit for lessons, I always feel like I ride better when I’ve put effort into my appearance.

Not too shabby, eh? I promise I’ll show you Beastly’s face soon too.

Once I was fully satisfied in how cool we looked, I hopped on and started warming up. Addy was good for this- she just got new shoes so I was feeling much better about the state of her feet. They’re just growing so fast these days! All that green grass. Our warmup was nothing special, just WTC with some extensions and collections. Addy was nice and quiet for this.

Aaaand then we started jumping. The quiet did not last. Here’s how the jumps were set up:


We warmed up over 3 as a crossrail a couple times, and Addy realized that OMG IT’S TIME TO JUMP THIS IS SO EXCITING I’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE EVAR. Much excitement. Our consistent note from Trainer was that “there’s one more step in there, hold to the base,” which was definitely a struggle. Homegirl was launching from downtown. But we did get a couple nice ones in there.

I even smiled about it. Check out her awesome new bonnet!

We then slowly built up the gymnastic. At first, it was just the first crossrail and the other two were ground poles set at one stride each. Addy being a snorty unicorn, decided that she would gazelle-leap over the crossrail, bounce over the next ground pole instead of cantering a stride, and then leap the final ground pole. Because, you know, that felt right. I did eventually get her to trot in marginally more quietly and put the correct striding in.

Then the second jump went up to a vertical and we did that a couple times, and then finally put the final jump to a crossrail. That first one-stride was set very short and we kept coming up on it too hard, so my big focus was getting a super slow backwards trot to the first fence. This was kinda hit-or-miss, but it did get better over the course of the lesson.

We then put the last jump up to a nice wide oxer (I know the diagram is backwards, so sue me) and continued through that way a couple times. Once she was going through the grid in a more civilized manner, I shifted my focus to staying straight down to the end of the ring so that we didn’t cut in our turn.

This was put to the test by the following: up the grid (1A-1B-1C), then turn right at the end and do a circle down at that end of the ring, then come down the outside vertical (2), then come back to a trot and go back up the grid, turn left, circle, and come down the other outside vertical (3).

By this point we had the grid pretty much down, but adding the outside verticals just stoked Addy’s internal fire. Her zest. Her zeal. Her pep. We came up through the grid nicely, got a surprisingly decent canter circle, then came to a nice quiet distance to 2. And then GOT REALLY EXCITED LET’S GO WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME TO TROT WOMAN. I sure as hell made her trot into the grid, but we were veering all over like a drunken sailor. Canter circle to the left was a little less pretty and we ended up galloping up to a longish distance to 3. We then proceeded to prance around the ring like a carousel horse instead of sitting quietly and waiting our next turn.

If you look closely, you can see actual flames shooting out of her nose and a glint of madness in her eyes.

But we tried again- got back to trot a little more sedately after the outside vertical, held the canter a little more nicely in both directions, and fit that last step in to the last vertical. It wasn’t pretty, but homegirl needs to learn to love the base instead of blasting through my aids and picking her own distance. I was very happy to end on that good note of her listening to me.

All in all, not a great lesson. I didn’t really bring my A game, and Addy wasn’t inclined to be charitable. Nothing particularly bad or dangerous in any way, just not super rideable. I’m thinking that I may start using the Pelham more consistently if we’ll be jumping; it’ll be harder for her to lean on that and drag me around.

That being said- while this has been my worst lesson in a while, we still managed to hop around all the jumps the way we were supposed to, we were safe, and I still had those moments of joy in the air with my girl. I’m extremely lucky that this counts as a “bad” lesson for me.

What happened in your last “bad” lesson and how did you work through it?

20 thoughts on “DragonMare Attacks

  1. Erin 07/16/2015 / 8:26 am

    Haha! “Launching from downtown”. We have those distances too.


      • Erin 07/16/2015 / 8:40 am

        Haha!!! I’m with you!! Wait until you see the picture I have in an upcoming post.


  2. Lauren 07/16/2015 / 9:12 am

    Maybe the bonnet brought out her fire breathing dragon jumper alter ego?


    • hellomylivia 07/16/2015 / 10:22 am

      That was my theory too! It totally made her channel her inner GP horse šŸ˜‰


  3. Karen M 07/16/2015 / 12:22 pm

    Breeches on point — love it!


    • hellomylivia 07/16/2015 / 12:55 pm

      Thanks! Trainer and I tried to use the phrase “on fleek” when referring to my pants last night, but gave up when we realized that neither of us understood exactly what it meant.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karen M 07/16/2015 / 1:05 pm

        I have seen that phrase, and I, too, have no idea what it means. Except that I think Rhianna coined it?


      • hellomylivia 07/16/2015 / 1:08 pm

        Rap music and young people and eyebrows. For some reason I think it has to do with eyebrows?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Karen M 07/16/2015 / 1:12 pm

        Oh, yah, I think I heard that, too. Young people are confusing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. SprinklerBandit 07/16/2015 / 2:18 pm

    Haha. No shame in jumping with a pelham. I had to do it on my old man. šŸ˜‰


    • hellomylivia 07/17/2015 / 7:11 am

      I figure I’d rather have that little extra leverage so that I can be soft when she’s soft and engage when she gets stubborn. Better than a wrestling match! DragonBeast just gets so excited to do her job haha


  5. emma 07/17/2015 / 8:40 am

    lol i definitely see the ‘glint of madness’!! sorry it wasn’t the best lesson – but really sometimes i need that not-so-subtle reminder to get my butt in gear and remember to bring the A-Game next time šŸ™‚ but hey, when all else fails, the bonnet looks fantastic!


    • hellomylivia 07/17/2015 / 8:46 am

      It was DEFINITELY a reminder to get my butt in gear, just more motivation to totally bring it next lesson!!


  6. carey 07/20/2015 / 9:30 am

    Hello triceps (in the last pic)! Addy is just helping you work out those muscles you never knew you wanted to use.


    • hellomylivia 07/20/2015 / 10:04 am

      Hahaha she’s just trying to help me out! I should be thanking her šŸ˜‰


  7. Courtney 07/21/2015 / 11:16 am

    When you look that good doing it, it’s never a bad lesson.


    • hellomylivia 07/22/2015 / 8:24 am

      I’m blinding the judges with my fancy pants and glowing white unicorn. I’m hoping then they won’t realize when I miss a jump or do it backwards or something.


      • Courtney 07/22/2015 / 10:50 am

        They’ll be like “did you see that rider?”
        “no, all I saw was a blur of white perfection!”
        “A++!” (that’s how they score it right?


      • hellomylivia 07/22/2015 / 11:01 am

        I’m 90% sure that’s exactly how it goes. At least, I’m betting all my show fees on it.


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