Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lesson #150: Intense Lesson

I had to reschedule my Thursday night lesson because I didn't have wheels to get up to the stable (boooo :( ) but with the craziness that's been going on lately, it was a welcome break. However, when Sunday morning arrived, I was really excited about getting out to ride. Clearly I can't go less than once a week to ride or I start getting withdrawal symptoms. HAHA

It was +ADW, G, one of the advanced riders with her green horse and I in this lesson and let me tell you, it was fast paced. Once Sheri reminded us that the new 'baby horse' needed more space and attention on our part to be more careful and thoughtful, we immediately started the warm up. This warm up was a total wake up because we were immediately pushed into intense continuous change up of (what I call) 'Sheri Says': posting trot, sitting trot, half seat, 2 point, canter, walk, change of direction, transitions up or down from walk to canter and vice versa. I lost track of how long this lasted but I do know that I definitely felt the intensity if the exercise. Later, ADW told me that there were moments where he was sure he was going to slide right off; and I recall instances where I felt like my position was struggling a good deal because the transitions were so fast. Despite this, it was an invigorating warm up and I actually really enjoyed it!

Hi! I'm Stanley C. Panther--little brother of Buckingham. I spent Sunday morning lying here on my kitty pen.

From there, we moved right into the small X jumps and as per usual fashion, started with 1 jump until we worked in all 4. Seeing that each of us are at different stages and different horses, my focus was to maintain control (of the situation) and pace and to use all the core I have to keep me from falling all over Ariel's neck. I'd ride in at the posting trot but often Ariel broke into a canter coming out of the jump; but we needed to recollect and continue at the posting trot, before we were turning for the next jump. The final exercise was to change the two of the x's into horizontal jumps. I did lose control during one run and left Ariel to her own devices and found us speeding around and my eyes falling on the ground and panicking. It was evident and Sheri reminded me that I needed to keep the dominant Ariel in check.

The runs weren't perfect but they are definitely improving and having literally done so much work during a lesson, I really felt like things were moving along and really going well. My biggest problem is still the over-thinking before the jumps... especially once they turned horizontal. I'd catch myself looking down and over anticipating the jump and almost freezing and then the ride out was pretty crappy as if I forgot that all the "in between jumps" is our standard flat work. If only I could turn my fear brain off at the jumps and trust that Ariel would get us over okay, as long as I brought her to the base of the jump and told her where we are going afterwards.

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