We started off in grids and Beth had me get that canter... the lengthen into the short neck canter. Then we did a grid. It was basically a three cross rail bounce. It started off icky. But it got better. Then we added an oxer a few strides out... and then a bounce pole to an X after the oxer. Then we progressed to that plus another line that was a 5 to a 3 and then another line which was two bounce poles to a vertical. And.. it got better, then it got worse, then it got better. But hey, we finished on better!
So.. things I learned...
- Keep my hands low. Press them into his neck. The right hand lift trick is great, but it can't start holding. When it holds, it inverts and blocks instead of achieving suppleness and unlocking his brace.
- Make sure than in an effort to correct the drift, I am NOT doing it over the fence. I cannot fix things when he's in the air. In fact, I make things way worse. I CAN move my right hand to his wither and open my left rein, but... somehow I end up crossing the right hand over his neck, which twists him and makes him drift more. So... press my hands into his neck... both hands! And... lo and behold, I don't need to correct the drift as much when I do that.
- Kick my feet out in front of me a little. Or a lot. I need to get my leg more in front of me again, like in dressage. Except in dressage, Cindy wants me to turn my toe in and my heel out, and when I jump... Beth wants me to relax my knee, which relaxes my butt, and push my leg out in front of me a little. Oh, and slide my butt back rather than perching forward in front of the cantle. And turn my heel in and use my spur if I need to. But at the girth. Apparently when I ride dressage I open my knee and dig my spur into him. When I jump, I slide my leg back too, but don't dig my spur into him. Sigh...
- Keep the canter! Get the canter, keep it, and RIDE TO THE FENCE... Don't just... do nothing. I need to learn to embrace the deep spot.
It was fun to get back into it. Danny felt pretty good like he was jumping round and basculing well when we were not flubbing it. :)