It seemed as though Tucker had recovered by Sunday from his vaccines. He was nice and forward and moving off my leg without a problem. And then Monday they got wormed. So last night I barely had a horse a again. He was slow and not moving off my leg. I tried doing transitions to warm up. Usually that gets him fired up but no dice.
As soon as the lesson started I let G know that I didn’t have much of a horse. And he said that we wouldn’t push it. Pretty much everyone was having crappy rides.
We started with an exercise to help out my friend C and her horse. Since they are showing this weekend it’s important to address some of the problems they’ve been having. They sometimes have difficulty waiting for the fence. Her horse can sometimes grab control and rush to the jump.
G had us canter up the quarter line (approx. 2’3″), halt and then turn around and trot down the quarter line. Then trot up and canter down. Don’t pick your way to a trot fence and don’t pull when they start to leave the ground. I dislike trot fences that are over the cross-rail height.
Tucker seemed to perk up slightly once we started jumping but I was still concerned about making the striding in the lines. G said depending how he feels just plan for the add.
First course, left rein away from home to quarter line, to long approach to maroon oxer, to outside purple 5 stride, to diagonal green 5 stride, finishing with outside blue 6 stride. We jumped into the outside 5 and I was surprised to find that I had enough horse to make the striding. Around to the diagonal 5, we had a bit of a tight spot (and a rail) on the in. Because the line runs downhill I didn’t push too much for the striding thinking that it would be there. We made the five but the out was a bit long, I should have pushed a bit more through the line. I compressed way too much to the outside 6 and decided to add a stride.
Second course, right rein quarter line towards home, to outside purple 5 stride, to the first of the diagonal line bend to the maroon oxer, to the first of the outside purple roll back to the second of the diagonal, finishing with trot approach to outside blue in 7 strides. The roll back was good but I let him get a bit under the green oxer. I need to plan my striding sooner out of the turn. Trot fences are evil! Especially when they are 2’6″-2’9″ height. I expected him to fit in another step and he popped up instead. Which popped me out of the tack a smidge. It took me way too long to organize and we ended up putting in a really ugly 8 strides.
We should have ended there. Other than the ugly 8 it was a pretty good course.
Third course, right rein quarter line towards home, to outside purple 5 stride, to diagonal green 5 stride, to outside blue 6 stride, finishing with the long approach to the diagonal oxer. This is where I ran out of gas. I fully intended to make the striding. But we would get part way down the line and I’d realize I didn’t have enough horse under me to make it. We added half strides in everywhere. We kind of got our shit together over the final fence and G had us go back to the outside purple 5 stride. It wasn’t the prettiest line but we made the striding and finished on that.
Takeaway: trot fences are evil! Solve it by riding forward! Worming + vaccines = Erin does not have enough leg.