Lesson Night – Derby Courses are Fun!

Can someone please explain to me how after almost 4 days off (due to weather) and a drastic drop in temperature my horse was dead off my leg?!?! In my experience the combination of those two things usually equals an up horse. It is Tucker after all so I’ll mostly likely never have an up horse, but I did expect at least a little forward.

"We are not amused."

“We are not amused.”

Tucker takes A LOT of leg at the best of times and usually prefers the cooler weather. I was looking forward to not having to push as hard last night. WTF Tuck?!?! I held up my end… I brought you your favourite apples!

That being said we still had a really good lesson. We rode in the main ring. Again due to weather the derby course (from the show on Saturday) was still set. My lesson buddy C won the derby, in the rain, with a 90! Go C!!!

Coach G had us start off by cantering the natural quarter line a few times in each direction. As usual he stressed the importance of not pulling to the base, riding away from the fence, and creating the pocket for the lead change.

From there we moved on course work.derby

First Course: left rein to natural quarter line, to green oxer, to blue vertical, to green vertical.

Tuck felt slow. The first jump seemed like it took him a lot more effort than necessary. I took the long approach to the green oxer and let it intimidate me into a yucky rhythm and distance. G later critiqued that it’s not a hunter course I could have cut through the ring and had a much shorter approach. The blue and green verticals were actually backwards (the flowers and boxes were on the opposite side we were jumping) but we had no problem finding the correct distance to both.IMG_3974

Second course: left rein to natural quarter line, to rust vertical, bend to red oxer, to grey vertical, big roll back to green oxer.

The turn to the rust vertical was a little tight. I made sure to stretch up tall and use my right aids to get him straight to the jump after the turn. I took a bit more of a direct route to the red oxer and missed the lead change through the bend. G critique: next time turn slightly left early and then leg yield back out for the bend and lead change. The turn back to the grey vertical was tight, again I stretch up and used those outside aids to get straight to the perfect distance. G later remarked that I rode that turn and jump really well. Yay! Roll back to the green oxer was good, we jumped it much better than the first time.

Third course: Blue vertical (jumped backwards), to rust vertical, bend to red oxer, to grey vertical, bend 7 strides to grey pillar, to green vertical, to green oxer.

The most handsomest!

The most handsomest!

We started on a left rein and had no trouble to the blue. It was a holy shit tight turn to the rust. I really had to use those outside aids to get him around the turn and then A LOT of leg to keep him from losing to much rhythm. The whole way around I was concentrating on creating the pocket to get leads. Got the lead on the bend to the red. Had another good turn with a slightly different angle to the grey. Made the 7 strides no problem. Turn to the green no problem. Nice waiting distance to the green oxer. No problem. NAILED IT! I jokingly yelled to C that I beat her with a 91. To which G said he would have scored us at 101. Yay!

Fourth Course: Left rein to grey pillar, to rust vertical, bend to red oxer, to grey vertical, big roll back to green oxer, to natural quarter line.

I missed the lead on the bend from rust to red again. Turned for the grey vertical and the sun hit my eye, Tuck was on his own for a couple strides. Which caused me to panic and come in on a bad angle, hit a bad spot and pull the rail. No problem with the green oxer to natural.IMG_0173

G had me go back and jump the rust to red with a circle in the middle to exaggerate the aids needed for the lead, and then fix the approach to the grey.

Jump the rust, leg yield over as far as possible, circle, outside aids to keep him on the circle, settle the rhythm for a nice waiting distance to the red oxer, land, tip the brim of my helmet down before the turn (I really need a visor!), make the turn, sun effectively blocked from blinding me again and hit the perfect spot for the grey.

"I was the best boy! Treats now!"

“I was the best boy! Treats now!”

What a great lesson, even though Tuck seemed tired. It really made me wish that I had shown and actually done the derby course for real. Although we did have rain all weekend so maybe not…

On another note, I broke in my new purple socks. A good lesson must mean that they are lucky. Therefore they are all ready for the show next weekend.

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3 Responses to Lesson Night – Derby Courses are Fun!

  1. vanessajean says:

    Sounds like a fun lesson! I’m enjoying reading your blog. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Story So Far ~ One Year of Blogging! | The Story So Far

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