Friday, May 13, 2016

"don't worry about problems that might arise"

"Worry about the problems you're having right now."

In other words, "don't worry about chasing the mare and getting fast-n-flat and behind your leg. Worry about the fact that you're adding too many strides and crashing into fences."

Noted. 

this is a 12' stride emma. you may also apply this same strategy to stadium. kthxbai.
These were Dan's (paraphrased) words from this week's lesson. As previously mentioned, we signed up for coaching at Fair Hill, marking the first time he got to see us in action in the show ring. Naturally, he was less than impressed.

(Fun side story: I jokingly asked if I got a discount on the coaching fees for getting eliminated and he was incredulous, saying I ought to owe more... womp womp)

He proceeded to come into this lesson with a serious game plan: course work. Didn't even touch my warm up flat work - just told me to get out and get it done while he set fences. Then sent me over a low wide oxer on a circle to get started. Circling until I got it right. Change directions and repeat.

Then immediately onto the course: A super simple outside in 4, bending diagonal in 6, outside in 4 pattern, ridden in both directions (all square oxers and verticals). Jumps set just a hair less than a true 12' stride. And he was crystal fucking clear: NO ADDING.

Specifically:

  • Forward. More. 
  • Seriously, more forward. Now
  • DON'T SLOW DOWN IN THAT CORNER!!
  • But into the bridle. 
  • Mare should be PULLING you to the fences. 
  • Needs more weight in the reins - none of that loopy rein nonsense.

If you get to the jump at a not great distance, the forward stride will carry you over. 

Don't cheat on a bending line - don't take the shorter direct route to make the strides easier to get. Have to fit in ALL the strides - but each stride must be the SAME LENGTH. Otherwise you're disrupting your 12' stride rhythm, which totally undermines the purpose of getting the strides and screws you through the rest of the course. 

Don't worry about lead changes right now (and for fucks sake, stop twisting your upper body over the fences) - you get too bogged down and lose your rhythm. Just ride forward. GO. Mare will figure it out. 

brief aside: our hackamore totally fell apart mid-canter out in the fields the other night. did i worry? no way, this mare is awesome and i have total and complete faith in her stopping ability. which begs the question, WHY DO I PULL IF I FEEL SAFE CANTERING HER IN THE OPEN WITH NO BRIDLE?!?!?! ughhhh emma, c'mon! 
Do..... do you wanna know how that worked out for us? Well? We jumped the jumps. All of them. And it felt loooooads better. Isabel was like, 'jesus fucking christ, hallelujah - she's finally letting me go!' 

Sure, there were occasional ickies and uglies, and a few knocked rails for good measure. But generally, we were way closer to where we needed to be - where we have been before. Somehow, somewhere along the way I just totally lost my feel. I got backed off. 

It's starting to come back tho. Hopefully. A little bit at a time. Phew. 

The next steps in my action plan include a lesson with trainer P at OF that will undoubtedly include a grid or two and some course work. Then a local h/j show where I plan to lay down a couple rounds in hopes of breaking my recent habit of freezing up in the show ring. Wish us luck. 

i'll never doubt you again, my darling!! 
And in the meantime, on a slightly different but related vein: Dan referenced the following commercial with regard to moving on from mistakes and low moments. Well, I say he 'referenced' it when in reality he pretty much quoted it word for word. 


Happy Friday, y'all. 

34 comments:

  1. Dan cracks me up. I'm glad that things are getting better!

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  2. That sounds like a kick ass lesson! And it that the bates I see there?

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    1. why yes, as a matter of fact, that *is* the bates. and riding in it made my life infinitely easier

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  3. THIS sounds more like the Emma we all know. Welcome back!

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  4. omg THAT COMMERCIAL

    CAN I HAVE A TSHIRT WITH IT? OR A TATTOO? ON MY FOREHEAD

    short memory.

    you got this.

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    1. LOL RIGHT?!? i thought that was a very apt analogy for riders too haha. "I am the greatest Chicago Bull of ALL TIME." -Emma H.

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  5. This sounds exactly like my last lesson. "Why are you pulling on her while cantering up to a large galloping box? Do you want to set off your airvest?" Spoiler alert-I totally set off my airvest

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    1. ha yup - that definitely sounds like my current kind of pitfall.... bummer about the airvest tho!

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  6. Whoop!! Sounds like a great lesson. We all need someone in our riding lives like Dan!

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    1. ha seriously. thank god these trainers come back north again after winter!

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  7. So why exactly wasn't the bates working in the first place?

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    1. i'm not convinced the panels are the right shape for isabel. but then again the K&M was a MUCH better shape for her and it still wiggled around like a little bitch so... idk haha

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  8. #mystrugglealso
    Although in my case, it's the horse that won't go forward. But having that forward strides does make all the jumps better, especially when you get to funky spot.

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    1. ugh seriously. how do i keep forgetting this?!? it's like i insist on paying for the same lesson over and over again haha. either that or it's just plain hard...?

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  9. Lol Dan. Glad things are getting better. Luck at the h/j show!

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    1. thanks! even if we can just get one or two decent rounds (and by 'decent' i just mean more or less like we typically go, not perfect haha - just no crashing!!!) i will feel much better about things

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  10. Forward solves all of life's problems. At least, that's my current mantra, haha

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    1. yerp. i need more of that in my life haha!

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  11. Oh, no kidding, we're lesson twins right now! Thanks for posting, your version has much more clarity than my own muddled thoughts - so many good take homes! Best of luck at your upcoming shows, I think you're going to do super well!

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    1. thanks! yea it was so funny reading your recap bc i was like, 'huh my trainer just said the EXACT SAME THING to me' lol. hey, i guess that's what makes it relatable tho?

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  12. Dan sounds like a hilarious and amazing coach all in one!

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    1. ha yea... he's hilarious in the sense that often it's either laugh or cry, so... yea we laugh. i really like the lessons tho. they often make me feel like an idiot, but he's an effective teacher for us and that's what counts.

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  13. Sounds like the same lesson I just had, only Dan sounds scarier than BM. Here's to embracing the forward!!! (Even if it's scary and hard and it sucks and whhhyyyyyyy.)

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    1. ha i thought the same exact thing. like, why can't i just have someone yelling at me constantly to "GET OUT OF THAT LINE!!!" lol

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  14. LOL that commercial. Also 'every stride must be the same length' has been yelled at me so much with my current horse lol

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    1. ugh it's definitely hard when i know we can be sneaky with that 10' or 11' canter...

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  15. man i wish i was there!! and that darn 12' canter seems so hard to find!! you will!

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    1. lolz you and i are in the same boat with our slightly short strided ladies.... at least they like to cover that ground when we ask!

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  16. Love the commercial!!! All the greats have short memories ;) hahaha!

    Bei g an adult and learning your lesson is soooo much harder! Our brains understand what we're screwing up but our bodies just won't adapt quickly enough!!! Agh!!! I think we've all been/still there with the whole "relearning" the same damn thing over again bc we just can't fest it right ;) but we will!!! As Dory says… just keep swimming… errr riding ;)

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    1. ha yup, pretty much exactly that. just keep swimming. and maybe i need to apply that 'short memory' thing to relearning the same lessons over again too haha

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