Our lesson this week was wonderful. Not because we were perfect, because we were far from that. But the main point is we made several big steps forward in making O into a real hunter pony.
Things I had noticed lately, and needed to focus on:
Get me to stop throwing my upper body at her in the canter
Get her off her forehand (probably related to the previous item)
Utilize big half halts to control her new forward pace
O was feeling pretty fabulous about herself when we were warming up, but she was responsive and quickly softened to me on what seemed to be the 100th circle. We worked a lot on finding that sweet spot between “holding” and contact. Bottom line is that it needed to come more from my legs, less from my shoulders. I really need to work on that muscle memory. Homework for me!
We started jumping on a little skinny across the diagonal, it was only an X but had big scary flowers. We focused on her putting her weight in her hind end and really being light up front. We only had a few moments where we crashed through, and mostly because I didn’t ask clear enough for her to be light and quiet in front.
We moved on, jumped a 7 jump course with lots of turns and long gallop spaces. I got in trouble some for essentially trusting her too much and being too soft at her too soon….she would get in trouble when she responded with running through my aids and acting like a freight train. However, when I took better charge of the situation, she allowed me too, and we had some great rounds. We even had our first on course flying change (which she promptly took off running after, it was pretty exciting stuff to her). So I guess I’ll add that to our homework list too.
High point: I was really proud of her, we worked really hard, and she is getting so much more aware of my aids and what is being asked of her. The bonus was that she only really looked at one jump, even though they were all new, and she jumped it without too much hesitation. She just jumped it with her head between her knees watching it. Planks are scary, guys.
Low point: My horse was way better than me tonight.
My Dad came out to watch my lesson, newly adopted dog in tow. He brought me a drink, a snack, and most importantly treats for Olive. He’s the best. I thought so too, Dad was her new favorite person and she just stood and soaked up the attention and peppermints.
Sorry for the total lack in pictures. My phone and camera were MIA.