Saturday morning I spent 5 hours in the sun coaching a bunch of beginner lessons. Coaching is not my favourite thing but one of our coaches needed a bunch of her lessons covered. I’m a certified instructor so I got asked.
It was a tiring morning. I had one casualty when one of the ponies was having a naughty moment. Nothing to bad, little Rio was just cutting corners. His rider froze up and fell off. Not a bad fall at all luckily. I later found out that it was her first fall. She handled it really well. I got her back on and taught her how to school a naughty pony. She gave him a really good ride after that.
Then I had an almost casualty. I had my riders halted in a line. The ones that could canter were cantering to the end and the ones that couldn’t I had trot to the end. Coach G was doing some lawn mowing and ran over a rock. This scared the pony who’s turn it was. Dancer happened to be carrying one of my trotters. He spooked and took off at full speed. I’m shouting whoa, lift your hands, pull back, the girl is freaking out. She ended up in front of the saddle but stayed on. I told her she did good for her first canter and was impressed she stayed on. Then I made her trot her pony. She was scared but I insisted that she couldn’t end the lesson on that or she’d be nervous the next time. She did it and every thing was fine.
I would have cancelled but there was a show the next day that I was hoping I’d be able to enter. Prepping was necessary! So Tuck and I braved the heat.
We did a very quick walk/trot/canter warm up. In such hot weather it’s important to preserve the Tucker energy. G came up to the ring and we started jumping.
We started by jumping the quarter line vertical on a right rein. The first time through we were under the rhythm and missed the lead change on landing. Boo! Second time through I made sure to have a good forward rhythm and then ride away from the jump. Tuck landed the lead but I could feel the lead change wouldn’t have been a problem with the change in how I rode it. Next G had us do a course of single fences. Right rein to the same quarter line vertical, long approach to diagonal oxer, second of the outside line, second of the diagonal line, second of the other outside line. Not much problem with this course. We had slightly long spots to the long diagonal and the first outside line. An adjustment to our rhythm solved that problem for the rest of the course.
G then had us jump the same course but add the full lines in 5, 4 and 6 strides. Tuck had his game face on and didn’t put a single foot wrong. What a good boy! Sometimes I think that he knows when it really matters.
The last thing we did was the other quarter line jump that was set on an angle on a left rein, to the first of the six stride line rollback to the diagonal oxer. G had us jump the first fence slightly angled. He explained that it would create a bit of a corner and make it easier to get a lead change. We ended up landing the lead, but it rode really well jumping that way. The rollback went well too. Sit up through the turn and add leg. I had to stretch up and add a stride which put us right at the base, but it was still good.
We ended on that. The poor boy was literally dripping by the end. I tortured him further by cleaning him up for the show the next day hoping we’d be able to fit it into our packed Sunday schedule.
Takeaway: Remember to stay in the front of the tack. NO more sitting down!!