Monday, July 20, 2015

brief thoughts from a lesson with P

My lesson at OF this week turned into a private - super unusual but I guess everyone is on vacation? I certainly wasn't going to argue; in the year I've ridden with P it's only ever been group lessons. So I was curious to see what might be different.

definitely appreciated the shade - it was HOT out!
I kept my flat work to the shady end of the arena while P ate her lunch and we talked about what I've been working on: particularly stepping into the inside leg and working on maintaining balance through transitions.

She noted that especially while cantering I get my whole body off to Isabel's left side and directed me to do the same thing C did: put the left side of my seat in the middle of the saddle. 

we had the whole ring all to ourselves!! (but mostly stayed in the shade to the left lol, except when jumping)
She also wanted me working for a shoulders in on a circle to really engage Isabel's inside hind (esp when tracking right, meaning her problematic right hind leg). And this was to be accomplished by pushing the shoulders in (duh), rather than the hind quarters out. Tough stuff but we had a few nice moments!

Really tho P wants me to raise my expectations for the flat work. I agree... but  really don't know what that means for schooling alone. I don't know how to do any more advanced movements and am hesitant to try schooling them lest I do it wrong... but idk we'll see. 

isabel was not pleased when i took the hay away to hang it back in the trailer so we could leave. obvi she can't be without hay for even just a minute!
Anyway, they had a nice hunter course set up from camp: outside inside outside inside, with varying striding, so we just worked on that. I jumped each line individually first before putting it all together - still working on the same process from Dan's lesson last week. And P liked it! Actually, she ended up pointing out a lot of the same issues I've been working on with the other two trainers so that's always reassuring...

The jumping was mostly fine - tho when we went through the whole course I progressively got farther and farther up Isabel's neck and the wheels started falling off a little. I need to remember to keep my legs down and feel that 'bounce' in my heels to help support my upper body, rather than letting my legs slip back and upper body tip forward.

lol she's one smart cookie tho and only banged her face once before figuring out how to pull the hay net out 
We also had some problems bulging through right turns and P echoed what Dan said about 'inside bend' being less important for jumping, and that I need to focus on using the outside aids to turn. In fact she said sometimes being a little counter bent around turn can be productive bc it frees up the horse's inside shoulder and helps reengage their hind end on approach to the fence. Good food for thought!

After fixing the two later lines in the course we called it a day since it was pretty hot out and Isabel was working well. I'll be out of town and will miss my lesson next week, but hopefully once I'm back we can settle into a routine and start looking forward to a few shows!

16 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fun lesson, good for you for getting it done in this heat!

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    1. omg the heat tho... borderline murderous !

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  2. COUNTER BEND YASSS. Sorry got a little overexcited. But my trainer had me start doing that and suddenly we weren't bulging through our turns and got straighter to jumps even on short approaches, and sparkles and rainbows starting raining down from the heavens. I'm a big fan of *slightly* counterbending through turns.

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    1. it's not the first time i've heard about it, but maybe the first time it's value was soooo obvious in a ride haha, esp since we kept on eating that one jump but then adding stronger outside aids really helped. go figure!

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  3. Props for surviving the heat. It was a rough weekend.

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    1. ha seriously - i may or may not still be recovering lol

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  4. Your coaches comment about thinking slightly counter bent makes a ton of sense. One of my past coaches told me this awhile ago and it works like a gem! It did great things for my loss of shoulder lol.

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    1. good to know! i'm definitely excited to get the hang of how/when/why to apply it during a course!

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  5. Amen about turning from the outside aids - something I've been working on myself! Also I like the "feel the bounce in your heels" analogy

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    1. thanks - i'd actually never heard the analogy before but as soon as she said it i thought 'YES - that is exactly what i need to be feeling!'. hopefully i can remember it lol

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  6. I often forget my outside aids when turning on a jumper course too. So much to think about!

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    1. my tendency far too often is to just pull the inside rein and pray lol. remembering all these little tricks is so hard!!

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  7. Great lesson! I love that she tied the flat work into the jumping re: Isabelle's shoulders. As for flatting on your own you don't need to do fancy stuff, more like be more demanding that her shoulders go where you want them, your transitions are good every time, etc. At least that's what I shoot for.

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    1. interesting - and perhaps that's what she meant. i tend to be a little wishy washy and almost always have to repeat our transitions bc the first is shitty... so yea, sounds like a good starting place!

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  8. By being more demanding, possibly she meant getting quality movement sooner or holding it for longer, not necessarily asking for new things. Sounds like a productive lesson!

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    1. i suspect you're probably right - especially now that we both sort of know what we're doing, we should be doing it more often i guess haha

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