Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lesson #107 & #108: PPE-R with Miss Bossy-Pants

I really enjoy having two lessons a week (and I'd like even more, to be able to ride more frequently *hint hint*) but how could I possibly keep up with all the blogging? This post alone is detailing the accounts of two lessons because I forgot about posting Thursday's lesson. Getting right into it...

Thursday's lesson was focused on jumping. I tend to do a lot of jumping when G rides. It makes sense since she's been riding for well over 5 years and that's her main focus. So, today's eventual aim was a small course of X's at a controlled pace. G's horse, Molson, (the same one that +ADW rides too) likes to rush his fences and Ariel speeds up and just "wants me to shut up, sit there and let her do her thing". We started in pieces with a single jump first at the trot, then cantering out and coming back. Then we proceeded to add one jump after another where we would canter out and trot in until we finally have 4 jumps set-up throughout the arena.

The rides in and out continue to be issues for me to get Ariel listening to what I want and once, she almost threw me because I wasn't looking where I wanted to go and she insisted on going the other way and I wasn't prepared. I was fortunate that I didn't land on my butt. My 2-point was also lacking some where I would occasionally jump before Ariel or got left behind. It's as if I have to stop anticipating the jump and just let things happen... it's what Sheri said to us before... "...a jump is just another stride. Don't think about it as anything else." When I don't, I over-think and the anticipation interferes with my position. I need to work on my ride out to ensure that Ariel listens to me and doesn't get any of her bossy-pants ideas about what SHOULD be done. I'm reminded that I should be the boss and whatever I want, I get. A tough lesson to think about because she's mostly good but there are occasions where I let her do the thinking and that's exactly when we get into trouble. It's kind of like when you and your partner both are doing something and say nothing about the next steps but expect the other to know and when it doesn't go as you (and they) anticipated, then things get messy because you're trying to fix the incorrect outcome.

That was just Thursday's lesson and now we talk about today's lesson... I went in reminding myself that I am boss and what I want, I get Ariel to do for us. So, while she was falling in on some corners, I take the next return round to ask her to do exactly as I wanted. I went into this lesson thinking, every movement is an opportunity to reinforce what I want her to do. Plan, prepare, execute and sometimes reinforce (PPE-R). I notice that the lesson started out a bit messy but each time I took to PPE-R with Ariel meant more success the next turn and she was indeed, listening to me. We still disagreed some--especially at the more complicated exercise but she was doing as I asked and control was regained on my part.

The exercise we did today was a continuation of the simple changes we were doing last week and the objective was to have them do a couple trot steps over the trot poles places on the diagonal and the simple change would be executed. My transitions were pretty good today because I managed to set Ariel up for the canter transition up and the only problem was that she was getting snarky about falling in or cutting corners so I had to remember to remind her to do the correct action (e.g. staying straight instead of falling in). It was certainly a tough lesson but I realized one thing: I have to employ my process of PPE-R at all times and anticipate when Ariel might try and do something tricksy so I could appropriately act with "R" before she got her way.

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