A short and sweet lesson recap of our last lesson of the year!
This lesson actually ended up being very funny- Frankie kept sneezing over. And over. And over. And OMG I SWEAR YOU’RE FAKING IT NOW BUDDY. Coincidentally, I had over-oiled my reins a little ways back, but thought they were adequately dried out enough to use.
LOL NOPE. I had absolutely no grip on the reins WHATSOEVER. Like, at all. Of course it was Frankie so his only response to the super inconsistent contact was to just get super heavy and long and try to drag me around, but it was definitely annoying to feel the reins slipping through my fingers every time I tried to take a feel.
Of course, this was the day that we practiced a lot of canter in-trot out of a 4 stride line. We quickly realized that this was NOT working without a proper feel, and tied knots in my reins so I could at least have SOMETHING to hold onto. Things improved rapidly after that.
Trainer also had me do my trot jumps this time without reins- it turns out that when you take away my hands, suddenly my leg stays in place and my upper body folds better and I don’t jump ahead and things get magical. So my tentative plan in the show ring is to drop my reins before every fence and put my hands on my hips. Seems like a good plan, yes?
We finished up the lesson by doing a no-stirrups course with the jumps around 3′ ish, as seen here:
Long approach down the oxer, up the quarter line in a galloping 3, down over the stone wall and rollback between 1 and 6 to come up the red outside vertical, then down the liverpool.
This whole thing rode fantastically! Frankie was really up in front of my leg and locked on to every fence- the rollback rode really powerfully and came up out of stride, and he powered right up to the base of the liverpool. I think riding this without stirrups really helped place me in more of a driving seat which got Frankie more revved up. And you know Frankie. A little revving is just what the doctor ordered.
We decided to end on that note since it rode so well, and chatted for a bit. We discussed how much more educated Frankie is about the contact nowadays and how we can continue to progress that education. We talked about different exercises we can do to keep Frankie fit even when the ground gets harder over the winter. And then Trainer gave me the best birthday present she could have given me.
I mentioned to her that the jumps last week looked pretty big to me, and I was excited that we’re really getting used to the bigger fences. To which she responded, “that’s kinda weird.”
Um. Sorry? I explained that the 3’6″ is quickly becoming more manageable, but sometimes when I first see them I get a bit star-struck and intimidated.
So she explained,”Olivia, the reason I’m surprised that 3’6″ looked intimidating to you is because I’ve had you schooling 3’9″ pretty regularly for a month or two. You never ask about the height so I assumed you knew. Are you sure those jumps were only 3’6?”
So yeah. My birthday surprise was that I’ve apparently been schooling higher than I realized for a while now. Hooray for jump height ignorance!
I’m headed home for Christmas and you may not hear from me before then, so in case I forget to post:
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, your families, friends, and animals!!! Much love to all of you ❤