She wanted to do some flat work and I thought Danny may need a gallop so I went to do some hills and gallops while she did some dressage. Danny was a lazy bum so we didn't gallop. But we did do some trotting and hill work. We did 5 minutes of hills at the trot. And then we did some flat work in the field. And then I decided to jump a little log to work on my position. I'm happier with it, but I still feel like I get a little too far out of the saddle and a little too far ahead of the saddle/motion. So I wanted to work on sliding my butt back and see if that helped my position.
So we started to jump. I don't know what the problem was but I could NOT get it together. We had like 8 funky jumps in a row. I couldn't get the right canter, I couldn't see a distance to save my life, and we kept chipping or taking flyers. Luckily Dan didn't seem to mind and just kept coming around. Kelli showed up and I told her I needed help! She said to get my canter first, and I told her I had been. I had been focusing on the canter and even made sure that I had forward available to me. But it was working. So then she said to start with a different jump to break up the mental part. I think I was embarassed because Danny and I started off and he went when I closed my leg but then as we got close to the fence he got really lazy and sucked back, so... I went for shock and awe! And he scooted and we had to circle. But it worked. I actually got him in front of my leg and then we had some lovely fences. :)
We headed back up to the arena where the footing was better (No rain for at least 2 months!!! the ground was hard!) and continued to work on my position. Kelli said that maybe instead of thinking of pushing my butt back in the saddle, which ended up making me collapse in my core, drop my shoulers, and push my legs forward (the clam), I should think of it differently. I should think of closing the angle in my knee by reaching with my seat or slightly dropping my seat down, rather than shoving it back. We stood in our stirrups and worked on the difference. In my brain, I still thought about pushing my butt back in the saddle but because I had practiced the motion while in the saddle, it felt a little different and I was able to just drop my seat a bit rather than do the clam.
We started out again and it was awful again. He was sucked back behind my leg. But then we got our act together and strung a few fences together and got some pretty nice work. By the end, our course was fantastic!!! Kelli was trying to take video and watch and yell out reminders, so unfortunately most of the good fences are not in the camera screen. But these are the ones we did get. She said that I was even better in the ones we didn't get. She said by the end the course was fabulous!!! That he was rocked back and balanced and picking up his shoulders and that I was tight in the tack, with the motion of the horse, and perfectly balanced over the saddle with all of the right angles. I hope so!! It did feel pretty good.
In the photos I still want to be a little less out of the saddle and a little bit more behind. But I'm happy with what I did get. It's a work in progress. And our course felt pretty darn fantastic! We even jumped the crossrail a little long and instead of being spazzy, I just sat up, closed my leg, settled Dan and waited and our out fence was AWESOME. )
Then we went for a little hack. :) So yep.. Fun day!