Sunday, March 31, 2019

Well that hurt...

First I almost break my ankle in the gooseneck yesterday...

then today... XC at the Vista... some good, some bad. The same thing.. he lengthens to the base and I can't keep him short... Popped up his neck and landed hard on the saddle. Fell off..

Finished over it again and did it right. Some good stuff... scary launch to bench but fixed it...

Good Friends make Life Better

Lovely hack with Kelli... jumped a bit... reinforced that the position flaws will get better when the canter gets better. When the canter is right and the jump is right, my position is almost what I want. But I stand up in the stirrups when I can't see the striding. Just don't let him lengthen. Collect the canter and rock him back first.

Friday, March 29, 2019

New Bit

Jump lesson with Beth.

Do NOT let Dan lengthen to the base... because then he gets stuck and I am not brave enough to help him out. So...

  • Keep my chin back
  • Add another stride
  • Shorten to the fence (in reality just maintain)
  • Don't abandon him/tip my shoulders to him/allow him to pull me down
It got better, but... sigh... 

I do like the new bit, even though it's NOT a nathe... and not soft. But he seemed happy in it.

Overwhelmed... so overwhelmed...

Skipped lesson to get Truck fixed.... but did get to sneak in an evening ride. Did some dressage. Nothing too exciting but getting our counter canter back. And Danny went for the lengthen down centerline. Ha ha. That's his favorite move.

Epiphany: Lifting my left seat bone (crunching... bringing my left hip up to meet my left shoulder) seems to unblock Dan and maybe resolve the rein lameness. Short hack after dressage

Monday, March 25, 2019

"I saw Danny's butt on the interstate.... are you okay?"

Today has been a day..... 

Truck overheating.... picked up by Laura... hitchhiking pony!

XC schooling.. lesson with Richard...
Chin to spine
lift my sternum
row my arms and longer reins
keep the connection
BEAT: Balance, Engine and Enough? can't remember A... adjustability?? Tempo... 
Carry your hands

Schooling was.... good and bad. Started terrible.. just loping around like lazy bums. But then he perked up suddenly.. (Me maybe?? ) and was great and fun and we were back in the groove... although I felt like I was standing in the saddle (clearly I am).... which is aggravating... because I don't want to look like a dumbass... but I think it helped my position. Richard said I would get close and then tip my shoulders at the fence... thus altering the distance.... which is why my spots would disappear or I couldn't see them. But if I kept my chin back.. that extra stride came out of nowhere... because he was up and balanced and could easily add it. But then I can't figure out how to not look like a weirdo.... so... I don't know. I need to get a friend to literally just video me over and over again over fences so I can play with things and see what works in my brain to make my body cooperate and get that shape I want. 

Then dropped back off at truck and trailer... antifreeze hose just popped off, easy enough fix. Dan unloaded, peed on the interstate side, then loaded back up...  FB friend messaged us... "is that you guys?" ha ha... 

Long day.... good day..... tearing myself apart day... want it to be perfect... now.... 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Lift the hip

Fun day!

Lake with Mike, worked on the sail boat... sanding paint off... then got lunch. Then ran errands. Then snuck in a ride. :)

Worked on canter leads... got right, then left, then right... all on the right rein, and then went to the left rein and did the same thing. :) Good ride. Nice hack after

Friday, March 22, 2019

Well that's just odd....

I had a lesson with Kelly yesterday. I decided that I would jump because I really want to fix the jumping issue. I am going to school at Pine Top on Sunday and wanted to make sure I still didn't have the heebie jeebies and would wimp out again. So.. we jumped! Although poor Dan will now be jumping 4 times in 8 days, but.. oh well. He'll be fine.

I told Kelly what was going on and she was game to help. We started off by working on my position just a little bit.It wasn't great starting off, but it wasn't quite as bad. We did the whole "drop your stirrups and hold the saddle" thing for the first one, and then she let me have my stirrups back. She was laughing at me because I kept grabbing the saddle with one hand. But it helped. But then I was coming up too quickly so... we finally found some wording that seemed to work for me. And it's not the "perfect picture" that I want, but.. it's much better. And like Kelly said... "If you improve 1% every day, in 100 days you'll be 100% improved!". So.. yeah. We'll go with that. So... not saying that his is how everyone should aim to ride, or even that this is how Kelly actually wants me to ride. But this is how I have to phrase it in my brain to make my body cooperate, and at least cooperate to the point of improvement, even if it means we over do it and then have to back it back down a bit. Cause... that's just how I roll. :) 

  • As I jump, push my feet out in front of me (landing gear). And then as I land, push them even farther out in front of me (more landing gear). 
  • As I land, think of pushing my shoulders away from my hands, which are on his neck.
So.. this helps... and this gets me closer to my ideal picture. But I still need to swoop my hips and open them more and stop standing up on my toes. I need to hunker down more... keep my butt closer to the saddle. However, at this point... when I try to do that, I end up not kicking out my landing gear. So... for now, focus on the landing gear. And then the opening of my hips will come. 

And in the meantime, my homework is to pop over small fences at home and practice grabbing the saddle and keeping my butt closer to the saddle. So... drop my stirrups and feel the swoop in my pelvis and the opening of my hips. 

Then we discussed the whole slipping issue and my confidence and me freaking out. And we discussed the whole "right canter" for the jumps and how I was either running him at things or shutting him down. So... Kelly asked me what I thought the perfect canter was. And then basically told me to stop "dressaging (Ie..overthinking)" jumping and just jump. Well, not exactly but.. pretty much. She said he didn't have to be super round and on the bit as long as he was balanced and most importantly.. if I said Go.. he went... immediately. And if I say Whoa.. he whoa-ed, immediately. So... we started off in a happy hunter canter and she said to get 1 mph more speed and it would be fine. BUT.. to make sure that he stayed in front of my leg. She saw when he got behind my leg and told me to fix that. We talked about how I wanted him to jump round and not roll over his shoulder and that I felt like the "huntery" canter was him loping around and just cantering over fences. She said that whatever we did today, which in my mind was almost the huntery canter but with a bit more oomph, was fine. He was jumping well and not once did he roll over his shoulders. She said he tended to rotate his scapulas and shoulders well but wasn't as snappy with his knees... like EVERY EVENT HORSE. She said he didn't need to be snappy with his knees and that he was actually jumping quite nice. So.... okay. And to be honest, he felt a bit more... jazzy today. Not quite as behind my leg, but he wasn't really gunning for the fences at the last minute either. It was quite nice. I felt like I could move him up to the distance when I needed and yet I could also hold. However, when I held... I needed to keep a bit more leg on him because he wasn't terribly "oofy" but it wasn't as smooth as I wanted. 

So.... it was a little bit of working on me but also working on the canter. We did a few mini courses and it wasn't terrible. When it wasn't spot on to the distance, I got a bit more "standy" in my stirrups, but... when it was good, it wasn't too bad. There was actually some decent ones. And they weren't tiny fences either. We even jumped the chevron with the rainbow carpet on it as an oxer. And Dan sort of backed off of it a little but I closed my leg and he took it. A little long, but he took it. 

So yeah.. It was a good lesson. I'm still a little mortified about how emotional (I didn't cry but I was close to it) I got and how I almost got myself too freaked out about it to jump. Once I got going, it was okay but I was way more apprehensive than I thought I would be starting out. Sigh... I talked to Caroline though and she was so sweet. She told me that I looked great and had she not heard me tell Kelly about the slipping and the fall last weekend and how I was all freaked out, she would never have known. She said that she understood... it was a lot of pressure. Here I am... on a horse that is way more talented and capable, and certainly more sound, with much more potential than Fleck... and the expectations were high. Add to the mix that we're so noticeable and that everyone knows us... and it's a lot of pressure. Then she reminded me that it's been awhile since I've run prelim and it's easy to lose your nerve when you aren't jumping that high. So yep... basically I've just got to get my prelim panties back on. :) ha ha.. It helped a lot though. She said she had the same similar baby nervous breakdown about jumping I was, but she just kept going and got through it. She said it wasn't always pretty, but.. it was better. So that helped a lot. 

And we also went on a short hack and did some hills for a few minutes with Phoebe. Dan was good. The goats were out and he was actually quite brave about them. And then.. the guard dog wagged his tail and Dan got all spooky! Ha ha... Seriously?! :)  Gorgeous day though. 

Hopefully Sunday will go well too!

Monday, March 18, 2019