Lesson Night – I Need to Go to Florida More Often

Or at least that’s what coach G said. Because Tucker and I brought our ‘A’ game last night. I have to admit I was a little nervous that we’d have a repeat of the lesson after I came back from being sick.

"Missed you mom but can I go back to eating now???"

“Missed you mom but can I go back to eating now???”

The one where I couldn’t see a distance to save my life or figure out where my canter was.

I was also a little nervous about having a bad lesson because of all the new crap I was trying out last night. Let’s see, there was the noble gloves. Which I was least worried about. Let’s face it, gloves are gloves. Right? And then there was the Tuffrider field boots. We all know new boots can be a bitch! And then there was the Kincade bridle. Who needs to clean and oil a bridle before using it anyway?!?!

Can ya tell there are going to be some review posts coming up in the not so distant future???

The worry mostly quickly vanished once I got on. Tuck felt good. It was a bit cooler night or at least that’s what it felt like to me after being down in Florida. Some of the girls were complaining it was HOT though.

Tuck was nice and forward and responsive to my requests. Bend left, bend right, move up into the contact and best of all still no more wonky steps. During my ride right before I went away he took a couple. I thought I might be coming back to another chiropractor bill. But it seems that I worried for naught.

South Hunter Ring

South Hunter Ring

G had us start by warming up on the right rein, circling to the second of the outside line. It was a vertical set at about 2’3″-2’6″. Would I have the right rhythm? Would I be able to see the distance? Would I be a complete disaster? I made an effort to shove the nerves away and focus on my riding.

Leg on, build the rhythm, get nice and straight to the jump, and raise the eye. The first time through was pretty good. G yelled out to me that I need to keep my shoulders back. Check. Two more times through and I forced those shoulder back. I did notice that I was sitting/having to fight to stay in the front of the tack coming to the fence. What can I say, it had been two weeks since I’d jumped. I decide to not dwell on it and fix one thing at a time.

We changed direction and circled left over the second of the other outside line. I was having a little bit more trouble with this one. It wasn’t until G said pick the distance and raise your eye that I realized why I was having such trouble. Durh! Raise your eye!!!

All jumps set at 2'3"-2'6" except the natural oxer. It looked more like 2'6"-2'9".

All jumps set at 2’3″-2’6″ except the natural oxer. It looked more like 2’6″-2’9″.

Course 1: left rein to grey quarter line, diagonal natural line in 6 strides, outside green line in 5 strides, long approach to white diagonal oxer, outside white line in 5 strides.

G immediately took the pressure off by telling me to ride the correct strides in the lines unless we jump in bad. In which case we were to ride the add. No problem.

Build the rhythm, wait for the distance on the first single, raise the eye, create the pocket for the lead change. The approach to the natural line was a little tight so I made sure to look for it and make the turn in time to get straight. Start pushing on the first stride for the 6 strides. Yikes! That natural oxer was higher than 2’6″. But no problem we made the strides easily and were able to jump out without difficulty. No problem with the outside green 5 stride. Long approach to diagonal oxer… wait, don’t pick your distance too early. Crap! Can’t see it, chip hard, and swear in your head because your lady parts took a good hit from the pommel. Fail to recover and jump into the white outside line badly. Tried for the add but didn’t quite hold enough so the add was more of a half stride.FullSizeRender

G critique: The first part was really nice then it all went to hell. The problem I had with the diagonal oxer was because I was a touch over the rhythm.

Course 2: left rein to blue diagonal, outside green line in 5 strides, long approach to white diagonal oxer, outside white line in 5 strides, diagonal natural line in 6 strides.

Land off the blue diagonal hold him straight until we’re past the natural oxer, create the pocket for the lead change, hold out so that there’s enough room to build the rhythm and make the green line. Only I didn’t quite hold out enough, which meant I didn’t quite have the rhythm I need which meant I didn’t get the distance I wanted either. We chipped into the green line so I held for the 6 strides instead of 5. And then missed the lead change. Recover, build the rhythm but not too much, wait for the oxer. Perfect. The rest of the course went good too other than a couple rapped rails on the white line.IMG_0543

G critique: exact opposite of before, mess up at the start and recover for a really nice course.
G: “To make the striding with Tuck do you extend his stride or go faster?”
Me: “Mostly go faster.”
G: “That’s exactly it. Tuck doesn’t have the natural extendable 12 foot stride. He’ll always have to be pushed. When you push he gets flat. Keep your hand up and give a bit more of a release over the jump. If you don’t you’re going to pull rails.

Course 3: right rein to lime diagonal, outside white line in 5 strides, diagonal natural line in 6 strides, outside green line in 5 strides, long approach to white diagonal oxer.

Last night we had a third person join our lesson. She normally jumps a lot higher than we do. G had raised the first of the natural line to about 3′ for her. And then we all forgot about it…

We jumped the single, we jumped the white 5 stride line, G yelled to remember to give a bit more of release. It was at this point that I realised he hadn’t lowered the jump. And I decided to continue and not think about it instead of stopping and making him lower it. The good thing was that G continued to talk to me, so I focused on that instead of the jump. Get straight, RAISE THE EYE, perfect distance, It was at this point that G realised he hadn’t changed the height, push on landing, and jump out perfectly. YES!!! On landing I yelled it was no problem. No big deal. No big deal about a 3′ fence?!?!? Who is this girl?!?!? But that’s really how I felt. The rest of the course was perfect too and we finished with that.

What do you mean this isn't how you take a selfie?!?!

What do you mean this isn’t how you take a selfie?!?! Thanks Tuck for the help getting it just right.

Seriously though I think I need to go to Florida more often!

Takeaway: Don’t tip forward, keep your shoulders back coming to the jump. RAISE YOUR EYE!!! Be careful of your rhythm on long approaches. Keep your hands up and release more over jumps through the lines. Win the lottery so I can go to Florida between lessons. Lol!

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3 Responses to Lesson Night – I Need to Go to Florida More Often

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

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