We had a good day today. It was a frustrating ride in the sense that we're so rusty, but not frustrating in the same way Tuesday was. I was in a better place to begin with. So that made a HUGE difference.
It still took me forever to get my act together and it took almost to the end for me to get Dan actually in front of my leg. Seriously... for a horse that likes to go fast.. he's so freakin' lazy!! I am making big spur rubs on his coat. :( And I'm so rusty. BUT... I do think that Kelly's thing where she had me do the "pushing my feet forward at the same time as my hands" with every stride really helped. For the most part, I felt like I was much more correct in my form. However there was quite a few fences where I totally went into fetal position and bopped off his back and tipped onto my face. But in general I felt like I was much improved with my landing gear and my T-rex arms. :)
We started off trotting and it was awful. I finally was able to get him collected enough but with enough impulsion and kept him to the base without shutting him down. Beth said I wasn't allowed to ever trot a jump again unless it was just like that. But then we went to cantering the fence.
And my brain is fried.. like... I've had so many migraines this week and have taken so many pills and other than the one night right after Charleston, I haven't slept through the night or slept well.. and it's broken. I feel like I'm on topamax again. Sigh.. So... this is what I remember.. only one day later. :(
I have to RIDE THE HORSE... I can't just sit up there and go "hmm, looks like we aren't going to make that 6 stride in 6.... oh well". I have to say "hmm... looks like we aren't going to make that 6 stride in 6.... oh yes we will.. half halt.. half halt... leg on... leg on... and 6... bam!". :) SO yeah.. but first, in order to ride the correct strides, I have to remember what striding I'm supposed to be getting.... Oh... "I thought that was supposed to be 5, so I panicked and pushed for the long spot.., but that was the 6 wasn't it?". Yep. Doh. Plus I kept going the wrong direction. But.. I did get it.
Basically... get that upper level canter. It feels like I am collecting him but lifting his front end. Like..almost literally rocking him back onto his hocks. Then... count. Whether it's up, or down, but count. It seems that counting down works better for me, but I need to play with it. Maybe counting up is better so that I don't take off on jump instead of adding the extra stride I see. But counting up or down seems to be better than "1, 2, 1, 2...". I also need to remember to half halt a stride or two before the fence to keep him from lengthening to the base. This isn't set in stone and not a given for every fence, but... kind of seems to be at the moment.
But really.. I just need to ride.. instead of not reacting. And I need to react quicker... not so delayed.
So... it ended well and we eventually got it but dang... we're so darn rusty!!! Hopefully we'll get it turned around soon though.