Thursday, March 14, 2013


Had a lesson this evening (now that the time has changed, we're trying to fit in one lesson on the weekend and one midweek). Anyway, traffic had Jessica running a few minutes behind and I got on a bit early so we had a very loooong warmup (well, about a half hour) of mostly walking around the farm and practicing "yes we're staying a straight line and no you aren't going to drift over to see the horses in that field over there" and a bit of trotting. I told Jessica when she got there that when we got in the ring, Kieran was probably going to be like, "are you kidding me? We went on a trail ride yesterday and now you've been riding for a while today AND NOW YOU WANT TO MAKE ME WORK???"

Except he proved me wrong. LOL.

One of the other boarders had set up a little set of three trot poles raised on the lowest setting of our jump standards, so after finishing our warmup with a bit of cantering each way, we trotted through those a few times from each direction, then Jessica started making them uneven (one side raised slightly higher than the other). What was funny was the times Kieran half trotted, half jumped over one, half cantered out (well, not half, but you know what I mean). Silly horse. I think it was a case of, "but those are jump standard things. Why aren't we jumping?"

Then she made a 2 foot or so vertical with a canter pole set out in front of it and the idea was, basically, she wanted me to come in and not really do anything at all up there, just let him do his thing and try and focus on how the jump felt. Then come in with keeping contact and trying to keep him collected and together and see how the jump feels. Apparently she's noticed that the times when I end up focusing on anything [i]but[/i] trying to keep him together, he actually jumps more nicely than when I'm managing him. So she wants me to think about how it feels when he's just over there doing his thing and try to work on transferring that to when I'm riding more actively.

After that, she took the three jump standards and squooshed them together (technical term) to make a bit of an oxer. She kept the uneven sides and sort of slowly shimmied them up a bit every few jumps so it [i]looked[/i] bigger than it really was. Mostly we did trotting in, since I'm a chicken (hah) and this was a kind of new jump for us. Kieran took it like no big deal ever. He did knock the poles a couple times, but again, that mostly happened because of me getting in the way. Last time around, we cantered around and over and he did so well we stopped on that note, even though the lesson still had about ten more minutes to go (but considering we'd actually been riding longer than that, it probably evened out.

Anyway, here's some pictures (screen captures, really) and video from today.

Approaching on the last time through

From our last ride through.

Cantering out

Yes, I even included the me-fail ones, hah.

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