Tonight I asked Jessica if we could do a gymnastic since...we haven't really done anything like that in a while and I thought it might make for a good 'different' exercise to do with Kieran and something that would make him have to think about what he's doing and stuff. (and stuff is totally a technical term)
So she set up a line of two crossrails, a low vertical, and a low oxerish thing. It went one stride (with a pole in the center to encourage him to canter), one stride, then two strides, then out.
We started out by just trotting in and cantering out. Then near the end we were cantering in, too...except about that time he got really weird where he'd go over the first fence and then duck out of the second one. That brought home to me that I really need to work on my leg cues as my leg really...wasn't there enough. But since we had been cantering nicely in and he'd been pretty darn straight and he'd already gone over the darn thing a half dozen times and I wasn't at all concerned about it, it was really weird. For a bit we thought he was just getting tired and argumentative but then Jessica realized that she'd adjusted the distance a bit for the last couple jumps but forgot to also adjust the distance between the first and second ones and so she'd made them a little close together and they no longer really worked as a one stride but it wasn't a bounce either (though maybe next time I should ask her to do a bounce so we can see what he does, preferably next to the fence =P) and he probably thought he couldn't make it (though a couple times I brought him right back around and made him do it practically from a standstill so he totally can. It wasn't even two feet tall, he could step over it) along with being tired and a little argumentative.
Looking back at the video Jessica took for me, he definitely lands from the first fence already ready to head out so it's not like he was ducking out at the last second, I just...couldn't figure out how to stop and redirect him. :/
Anyway, I put some of the video down below after the pictures so you can see what I mean.
After re-adjusting the fences for better distances, we went back through it straight twice and were able to end the lesson on a good note, and I included one of those videos too at the bottom. :)
First up, some pictures of us before the lesson properly got started, mostly just to keep showing off his new hairdo. The only thing I like about me in these pictures is that my leg looks good, hah.
Now for the videos, this first one would be a fail-vid.
Forgive the curse at the end, I wasn't really expecting it, that was the first one.
And here's the not-so-fail vid.
One thing I've noticed watching these so closely is that I really do have a bad habit of throwing myself too far out of the saddle and then coming down too soon.
We did discuss that we haven't spent a lot of time really polishing my position though I'm thinking that might be needed.
Jessica also mentioned it would probably be a good idea in the relatively near future for me to take a clinic or just a couple of lessons with another instructor so we can get another set of eyes on me since really...she's the only person that's been watching my riding for months now and while I know I've improved, it would be nice to have someone else be able to point out things for me to work on too as I'm sure they're there (like the throwing myself out of the saddle thing). She wants to be able to watch it too, which, you know, makes sense if we're going to come back from it and be able to work on things together, instead of it filtering through me and my hole-y memory. :)
So...that's the update. A bit of success, a bit of fail.
*tap tap* Is this thing on?
7 months ago