Saturday, January 11, 2020

We Jump! We Stay on!

So.. I have got to figure out my life.. how to keep the migraines at bay and how to ride Dan more than 3 times a week. I rode Tuesday... and didn't get to. By Friday morning, Danny was literally doing his own gallop sets. I brought Emma out with me to feed and they got to playing tag and were galloping like crazies! Dan even had his alfafla sitting there and he just ignored it and played with Emma. Goofball! So I let him play for a minute, then took Emma in and changed and then we went to our lesson. Yay! So grateful that Kelly was able to rearrange her day and make it work. Mike and I went to Tennessee but we didn't leave til 1 pm, so I was able to sneak in my lesson. 

Kelly rearranged the jumps at Silverthorn and we played. We started out simple and progressive... not challenging yet. But she warned me it was coming up again soon. :) It was a great ride though. We started off with the basics. Is he in front of your leg? And yes... he was... then he wasn't, so we addressed it. It's just going to have to become a part of life. And... I will probably always have to close my leg and add one mile per hour more the last three or four strides to every fence but... Kelly pointed out that it's not a bad thing. It's a good thing because it makes him predictable. And... the answer is always Add Leg anyways, so... easy enough. :)  So we did that today and started with a triple. We started with the first fence and two ground poles and... then put it up. It was fun. We worked on my release too. Kelly wants me to get more of an automatic release. Which is exciting that we can get to that instead of focusing on surviving. Yay! BUT... I have to be careful because I tend to get floaty hands if I don't think about pressing them down. Then we put a course together and built but added two new fences at a time, instead of just one. And... I couldn't quite get the line right to the bendy 4 stride. I kept cutting it too wide and having to add the 5th stride. I was able to get 4 strides when I rode that line by itself, rather than having to make the harder turn off the grid. So... meh.. but I did it! And he was forward and going and it felt great!  It was a really fun ride and so helpful. And nice that we were able to incorporate some other stuff too. 

Things we learned: 

  • Is he in front of my leg? If no, reinforce
  • Does he STAY in front of my leg? If no, reinforce. (Yes, he won't go without stopping without me ever touching his side, but... he should maintain a fairly steady pace and not deflate without me having to nag him every stride)
  • With triples, he's going to lose some energy so realistically I should plan on adding more leg into the third fence.
  • Remember too, that as the course progresses, he'll (as does every horse) start to deflate.. .like a helium balloon. Hee hee. So I need to make sure that I keep him inflated throughout the course. When I walk it, I need to say to myself "okay, by here he'll deflate some and I have time to test my leg response and add the crop if I need to.... here's another spot"....
  • Progressing towards automatic release.... start by doing the crest release, then doing an opening rein to the right, then to the left. That gets my hands more independent so that I can start to then almost think of dropping them down and hugging him. I just have to be careful because I start to float them if they aren't pressing down. 


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