I broke my collarbone last week. Not because of anything having to do with Kieran but...it does mean I won't be riding for a while, so you guys probably won't be seeing any updates from me for a few weeks. Sorry!
So there might come pictures or video from today but I have to wait till Jessica sends them to me. Anyway, for the time being, here's a drawing of what the arena looked like today:
Basically, the one on the left was a bending line that we started without much bend and after we'd done that well, Jessica made the turn a bit sharper and had us do it again.
The one in the middle was a 2'3" vertical with one Kieran-stride down to the crossrail and a bounce to the next crossrail (or it could be ridden back up the other way depending on whether we wanted to have Kieran open up as he came out or tighten up as he did). The one on the right was 18" oxers (poles on each of the 'cups' in the jump blocks on the side that has two cups) with I think two strides between them, but ground poles before and after a 'bounce' out so Kieran had to 'wait' and watch his feet because he gets excited going through things and gets big and then he messes up.
So today he was just really really 'on'. He was listening well, even when he was getting big and wanting to get strong, if I sat back and half-halted, he came back to me. That sort of thing. Even just walking in our warmup, he was really pushing from behind and not trudging along and making me work at getting him to move out.
So we did the bending line first and he was really a champ at that though after Jessica made the turn sharper, I had to really work at looking ahead to where I wanted him to go so he'd stay at the center of the jump. And I just remembered as I said that that those jumps were actually crossrails (so Jessica said, it would be easier for me to 'see' the center to keep us focused on it).
Then we did the center exercise and Kieran was really good at it though he did want to get too big and get a little sloppy over them or I'd half halt too late going in to it (from the top to the bottom) and he had to 'fix' things a few times because he'd listen to the half halt and back off and then not come in as good as he could have. But it wasn't bad and he's really smart about figuring out these questions we're putting to him as long as I stay out of his way, hah.
Anyway, to work on the 'wait wait wait' thing we moved on to the exercise on the right which the first time through...he totally whacked himself on the first jump and you could tell he was totally offended by it. But it was entirely because he tried to blow through it despite me telling him, "yo, dude, relax". So after that, he went through much nicer and we were able to finish by going back to the middle exercise and getting a good run through for it.
I would actually get more detailed on everything but that was this morning and I've been out in the sun all day at an arts festival since then so my brain is mush. :)
So here's a bunch of pictures from our lesson last week. Jessica set up another 'course' and then would tell us different sets of jumps to do until we were doing all of the jumps in one go.
We did have a moment of "this is why you must have impulsion going into a jump" at one point, because at the little one-stride, we didn't and Kieran caught one of the poles between his front legs as he went over it and ended up basically tripping over it and falling down. He was okay, though and got immediately back up and started eating grass like nothing happened.
Anyway, what I like about these pictures is that...yeah, I'm still throwing myself up and forward out of the saddle a lot instead of folding the way I should...there's also several pictures of me doing more folding and less throwing, so at least I'm slowly improving? :) (Also, more pictures of me LOOKING UPover the jumps!)