This week lessons haven’t gone so well for me. Tuesday I had a very tired horse that conked out part way through the lesson and on Thursday I had all the intentions of getting back to normal and riding him nice and forward to make the lines. And then that didn’t happen so well.
We were in the main hunter ring (jumps ranged from 2’3″-2’9″) and G had us warm up by cantering into the first of the outside line on a left rein. I picked all the way to the jump, we had zero rhythm and zero forward pace. Repeat that exact ride 3 times. Finally I got over the panic (because that’s what I was feeling) and pushed him forward.
G had us change direction and jump the second of the line on a right rein. See above paragraph for how I rode it only skip the part where I eventually got my shit together and rode forward. Forward did not happen.
He then had us jump both jumps in 5 strides. Guess what… that didn’t happen. At this point I was a little more serious when I told him a quit. I dropped back to a walk and G gave me a little pep talk. He had me try the line again. “Go forward, go forward, go forward” was my mantra. And we got it done in 5 strides.
First course, right rein to quarter line, to outside purple 5 stride, to diagonal green 5 stride, to outside blue 6 stride, finish with long approach to diagonal oxer. The first two lines we added because I was busy second guessing myself and didn’t make a decision or keep riding forward for more than the first couple strides. The six stride line we had a tight distance on the in and I planned at that point to add. I realized adding wasn’t actually necessary by the 4th stride, which was too late to change the plan. G said that because I had fixed our rhythm problem by the in of that line, even though we had tight distance we could have made the 6 strides. Well crap on crackers!
Second course, left rein to quarter line, to long approach to diagonal oxer, to outside purple 5 stride, to diagonal green 5 stride, finish with outside blue 6 stride. “Go forward, go forward, go forward” I chanted in my head the whole way around. It worked and it felt good. I wish I had a picture of the last jump… it was probably 2’9″ (terrifyingly high!), we hit the perfect distance to it, and he cranked up his knees so high (I know because I could see them). It would have been super cute!
G let us finish with that instead of pushing our luck with a third course. I’m not sure whether I’m happy about that or not. Tucker was really sweaty though so I was happy to finish for his sake.