Tuesday, February 10, 2015

lesson on straightness + a little fail fun

Saturday's lesson was interesting, in that I have more media than insights to share about it lol. I really don't mind riding with 12yr olds... but sometimes they take FOREVER to get through their jump rounds and I kinda wanna to tell 'em to hustle up lol. This was one of those lessons, and it ultimately meant our jumping time was cut short.  


the "V" line 

It was ok tho - since we mostly focused on a single exercise that kinda blew Isabel's mind lol. More on that below tho!



don't mind the headless poneh - she discovered the loose hay on the trailer floor lol

For interested parties, here's a better side view of the Bates saddle (picture taken the day before the fitting).



tail can't be tamed

I again focused very heavily on our flat work - since our first show of the season is on SUNDAY!!! It's a dressage fix-a-test clinic (technically a schooling show, but I'm treating it more like a glorified lesson) and we'll ride the Beginner Novice A test. 





P was VERY pleased with how steady Isabel has become in the last few weeks (yay it's not just my imagination!!!!!) and noted that the horse was working more consistently over her back. Things are still better tracking left than tracking right, and our canter is iffy... but we're working on it. 


We're incorporating more leg yields (sorta), shallow serpentines, and ever-so-slightly-shoulder-fore down the long sides. Our execution of these movements is extremely poor - but that's not really the point for now. It's mostly to tune Isabel into me and help me feel how she 'bounces off my aids' (love that description, Austen!!). P also suggested introducing some counter-bend and swapping my diagonal every five or so steps. 


Whatever the case, I'm pleased with our progress and am super eager to get more feedback from the judge next week!!

Then it was time to jump. We started by trotting and cantering a single vertical on the outside. P asked what we'd fix each time, and my answer was consistently 'our straightness.' Hah. Careful what you wish for!! P then set up a one stride "V" line - with placing poles literally creating a "V" in the middle of each fence. 

Isabel was, uh, a little overwhelmed our first time through:

'oh shit oh god oh shit' -isabel


'c'mon damn it, keep it together' -isabel


'oh god it touched me - poles errywhere!' -isabel
'ugh - this is such bull shit' -isabel
'and now this chick is laughing at me. wtfffffff.....' -isabel

believe it or not, we actually made it over through the last jump lol

Poor girl. You can literally see her emotions shift from confusion to embarrassment to irritation. And I could not stop myself from laughing... probably gonna give her a complex... 


But she's a tough cookie and figured it out after that - even saving my butt once when I didn't make a decision about a questionable distance. We finished the exercise as a three-element "V" line (one stride between each element) and Isabel was perfectly confident through it. 

video of our efforts (complete with uncontrollable giggles) here
(and yep, this comprises ALL of our jumping from the lesson - all 39 seconds of it...)

she may or may not have been very sick of my shit lol


So ya know... It was a lesson and things were a-ok. I think both Isabel and I will be very happy to start riding outside again tho!

48 comments:

  1. Aw bless her cotton socks, glad you could see the funny side even if Iz couldn't at that stage. Great media to have and a fess on going forward - no pun intended!

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    1. lol she did NOT think it was funny at all -- but she's such a very very good girl and made it through anyway haha

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  2. Eck! That "V" line is pretty scary! I'm also a wimp :)

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    1. it was definitely a LOT to look at - visually overwhelming for sure. but as you can see, it's all pvc and knocks down pretty easy :)

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  3. Bahahaha! "'oh shit oh god oh shit' -isabel" It's okay, Isabel. I think we all feel like this at some point in our careers. ;)

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    1. lol right?? i've definitely been there before too haha

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    1. haha she's so expressive it's easy to imagine what she might be thinking

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  5. I'm usually rather serious during my lessons but even I would have had a good laugh at that moment! And I do secretly love laughing at embarrassed animals...
    I'm evil like that ;-)

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    1. haha it's kind of terrible.... but oh well - i can't help that she's so funny lol

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  6. I love your big smile in the photos where she is "goofin'"

    And that second to last photo of you guys jumping looks AMAZING. LOVE the leg position and that release!!!

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    1. haha yea i was giggling before we even got to the fence (since i kind of expected that it would go down like that lol)... and yea, i LOVE what this saddle is doing for me so far!! like now i can actually work on fixing some of my own positional things without the saddle amplifying everything :)

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  7. Saddle looks perfect! I laugh at Apollo a lot...it's probably a good thing, I always forget to breathe and it keeps me breathing! :)

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    1. good point about the breathing too - i'll have to remember that!

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  8. I love how expressive she is! Your captions are hilarious :)

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    1. haha thanks - she's definitely easy to read lol

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  9. I love it when you bust your ass for a whole lesson then FINALLY get it! Best feeling!

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    1. haha right?? esp bc isabel rarely fails so spectacularly - definitely makes it feel good once it's right :)

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  10. Hehehe that was really quite amusing. I would have been giggling too. :)

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    1. yea it was pretty hilarious.... poor thing lol

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  11. That looks like an awesome exercise, totally happening.

    Although I imagine Gina's reaction will be 'oh shit oh god oh shit STOP STOP STOP STOP THROW THE HUMAN'

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    1. haha i'm very grateful that isabel doesn't immediately try to ditch me lol, and in fact DID make it through the last obstacle (even tho she brought the whole thing down with her...)

      but yes you should definitely try this!!! we have a serious left drift issue so this really helped

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  12. Poles everywhere!! Ha :) But really, she looks really nice the next times through and I love the "V" exercise-it really helps I think.

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    1. haha yea she figured it out pretty quickly. i'd never done the 'v' before but had seen it set up and always wanted to try! i liked it!

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  13. LOL i love that you've managed to capture it all too.

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    1. lol me too - i find that gif hilarious - and strangely hypnotizing haha

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  14. The GIF is gold. You summed it up well. Confusion. Embarrassed. Irritation.

    I think she landed with her back leg on the pole on purpose. Destruction. She had a point to make.

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    1. haha i think you might be right - she had a point to make (but i think it backfired on her lol!). and then she sailed through afterward like nbd - perhaps another point to be made lol

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  15. Omg the gif! Her expressions are truly priceless.

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    1. lol i kinda love how transparent she is

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  16. Hilarious! Izzy cracks me up. Way to nail that line though, it looks tough!

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    1. thanks - it was easy enough to do if we were *straight*, so once she figured that out we were golden

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  17. Oh my god, those Vs would have blown MY mind!

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    1. yea they're definitely a LOT to look at!

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  18. Ahh Beginner Novice test A.... I have a love hate relationship with it! (it's the only test I've done and I'm pretty sure it will be stuck in my brain forever as I've tested it at least 5 times now) she was so done in that gif!! But she really got the hang of it by the last one in the video :) good luck on Sunday!!

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    1. haha yea i actually really like BN-A -- it's easy enough to remember, and the canter departs are in a corner. can't really ask for much more, right? but like you, we've already done it a few times, and will probably be doing it quite a few MORE times before we're on to the next haha

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  19. Izzy is sort of like Miles, in that once she gets going over fences, things 'flow' and the distances get better and better!

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    1. good point!! altho sometimes it seems like *i'm* the opposite - we'll get through something well and then i'll find ways to mess it up haha

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  20. That exercise would terrify me. Simon loves to jump left and I usually let him, whoops!

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    1. you and are in the saaaaame boat haha - the left drift drives me crazy but i somehow find myself powerless to fix it ...

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  21. Haha oh Isabel! My pony would probably be like "wtf?!" also. I will have to try it with her sometime hehehe

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    1. oooh definitely do try it!!! we introduced it pretty low too, so that the horse can get accustomed to the visual overload ... but she caught on quickly!

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  22. Loved the video! lol! I've never seen the V setup before..looks fun!

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    1. it was fun! at least, once we figured it out haha

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  23. props to you! that exercise woulda done us in haha

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    1. haha thanks - it was actually not too bad :)

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