Ahhhh.... I feel better now. We fixed it. Mostly. Although I swear... my poor horse. He's smarter than me. This week especially. That's two separate rides now that I can just feel his eyes rolling at me and him thinking "for the love of pete mom... get it together.. it's NOT THAT hard!!". hee hee...
We had a lesson with Kelly at Silverthorn. We started off and Dan felt awesome!! He was in front of my leg, energized, self propelled! It was awesome. I think he likes his haircut. :) (I clipped him yesterday and gave him his racing stripe). Or it was the spurs. Or he just felt great since I had finally had a chance to adjust him. Or a combination of all of the above. Whatever the reason, he felt awesome. Kelly said that she loved how forward he was and where his head and neck were. She said that he tends to get heavy and low and pull on me, but when he carries his head up a bit higher, he gets lighter in the front end and it frees up his shoulder. :)
We started jumping and Dan wouldn't trot the crossrail but whatever. He was jumping well so we decided to ignore it and make it a point when we did grids. But for now, we would let him canter and carry on. We did a small course of 2 and then 3 fences to start. Kelly told me to count and to just focus on keeping it simple. She said that my brain tends to over thing and panic and try to fix 800 things and I should just sit still and ride the canter. Mostly. But she wanted to clarify it. She said that most of us have a correct canter to the first fence, and then things start to fall apart. So... she told me to just think about how I want my canter for the first fence... jump the first fence and land. And then think.. is this the canter I want for my first fence... as I go to fence 2. :) But... seriously, ride each fence like it's the first fence. Get my canter together and balanced and forward but don't let him run, and keep it. I did pretty well with that until Kelly added a few more fences and increased the size.
Then we started to get a little flustered (well, I did... Danny was clearly rolling his eyes at my incompetence) and things started to fall apart. So... then Kelly told me to think of just two things... Balance him in the turn and then create impulsion out of the turn. So we tried that. It sort of worked but then when I increased impulsion I tended to let my arms go forward and Dan started to get a little rushy. So.. then we decided that my words were going to be "create" and "hold". Kelly told me to create that impulsion and forward but keep my hands in the same spot and not let them creep forward. This in effect created the power and impulsion without letting Dan get long or flat. It was awesome. He was jumping like a beast!! It was the ride I like... forward and game but not running at them. He was jumping awesomely too! Nice and bold and well. It was so much fun. And we jumped some big stuff too. He loved it.
Now.. to just remember... Create... Hold... Create Create Hold... Create Hold Hold... Hold hold hold... create hold create. :) Breathe and count and don't panic about the details. Although I do need to remember my landing gear. But I don't think Kelly had to say much about that. :) Yay!