Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The return of the lazy diagrams

Had a lesson the other day where both Jessica and I were like, "let's just make it up as we go along....". We'd both had pretty hectic weeks so neither of us was hugely prepared. It was also Kieran's first ride since the weather got exceptionally cooler, I was expecting him to be quite goofy and of course he proved me wrong by being a good boy the entire time. :) Anyway, there were some things already set up in the ring that we just used. Down the centerline was a row of four low jumps (basically cavaletti) left over from our last lesson spaced out in a 1 stride->bounce->1 stride order. Over on one side, on a diagonal line, I had set up a row of five or so trot poles. In one corner was a 2' ish vertical. Jessica also set up a row of canter poles on the side where we hadn't placed anything.
This done, we went through each element on its own and then slowly started putting things together. Trot poles first, then we'd do like trot poles around to canter poles or through the gymnastic down over the vertical (note that diagram is not to scale or even perfectly in alignment to how it looks in the field :) ).

Finally, at the end, Jessica had us do the whole thing, down the trot poles, around to canter poles, make a left at the top of the arena, come down over the vertical, and then up the gymnastic. It was actually a little difficult because we had to make that one (slightly sharp) left turn to come back down to the vertical and then another sharpish turn up to the gymnastic. Plus the changes of gait and that I needed to stay mindful of what we were doing the whole time so I could keep Kieran set up.

The first time was okay. Got a little hinky on making the transition after the canter poles to trot around the turn and come out on the correct lead and then as we approached the vertical, Jessica told me, "chin up!" which actually had the effect of me straightening up my whole body so it was positioned more correctly instead of just my chin...but also it was basically a very effective half halt and we did it about a stride away from the jump so Kieran was like, "wha? back off here? Okaaaaay....." and I had to push him over it without really realizing what happened (because I was like, "wha? why'd we almost stop when we were going so nicely?", hah). Then we landed in a trot and managed to trot up to the gymnastic and Kieran pulled out a half decent canter to get through.

He did everything right, at least. :) And it's certainly nice to know I've got a horse that will help me get out of tight spots, LOL.

So we did it again, I kept my head in the game, he had a nice transition around the upper turn and we managed a good canter over the vertical and around to go up through the gymnastic.

We ended on a pretty fabulous note. :)