Lesson Update - January 2019

My husband was generous enough to come out and video another lesson (in a short span of two weeks?) and so here we are. The weather was gorgeous that day and I even rode in just my base layer. I also didn’t fiddle with the camera setting and as always am super pleased with my talented videographer hubby.

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Exercises

Starting in our Thursday night flat lesson we worked on a curved pole exercise: normal five strides, wide track to 6, straight track for 4. You can see in the video I go out around the white jump for the 4 stride, straight approach, and stayed inside for a more curved approach to a 5. Lately we’ve been mostly working on track change and how it affects distances.

When doing roll-backs, it’s easier to find a distance if you turn sooner so if you see you’re getting to the jump too quickly or slowly, you can shift out or in on the turn to adjust for a better stride (track change), whereas if you approach straight from farther away, your only options are to move up or slow down (speed change).

Also got a quick refresher on inside leg to outside rein for collection, but adding outside leg back for a slight whole body bend makes for even easier collection (honestly, I totally forgot that trick).

The Good

Leo is perfectly capable of doing the wave planks! We had been avoiding that jump because it can be a bit spooky for them, but he was unfazed, even knocking one the first time over (which is why I look so pleased after the rail, totally thought he would over-jump it!).

I got almost all of my distances, and even the “bad” ones weren’t ridiculous.

Last Sunday the storm was so bad that it ripped off the mid-section of the arena cover (I am seriously devastated for the barn owners) and Leo has been completely composed thus far.

Pretty much last weekend’s storm @ Leo

Pretty much last weekend’s storm @ Leo

Leo’s new very reasonably priced breastplate has worked perfectly so far with no saddle slippage to report!

The Bad

My hands have not improved since my last video and if anything, have gotten worse. My trainer pointed out that I was leading a lot with my right hand and I think my excuse coming towards some of the jumps was to indicate to Leo that he should be landing the right lead – it worked once – but I think there are more correct ways to hold the lead… and my right hand was forward the entire lesson, not just before the jumps so just a bad excuse.

Also, my hands didn’t really follow during at all during my courses - so, I’ve regressed. Even over the jumps, I’m still sitting up like half a second too early.

I’m THIS close to ordering some resistance bands to train myself to follow properly again. My wrists are also excessively in the hanging position, which I think will be most difficult habit to correct. I sleep with my wrists bent like that, they’re in that position all day when I’m typing at work.

Leo was also a bit grumpy and possibly sore from vaccines the weekend before. Luckily there’s a probably reason for his sour mood. Where are his perked ears over the jumps?

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