Thursday, September 8, 2016

enough to go around

I'm slowing down a little bit on the 'ride every horse any horse all the time no matter what!' train. Sorta. Kinda. Mostly bc it's a goddamn hustle and I'm a little tired. It's easy at this new barn tho, bc they have a LOT of horses I'd be interested in riding. So I don't mind leaving it up to chance to see what new trainer M wants to put me on.

He put me back on Casanova this week tho, which is fine by me. Casanova previously lived (temporarily) at an event farm, so I suppose they figure he and I should do well together (for the record, this is an h/j barn so I'm a little bit of an anomaly lol). And they're not wrong. Casanova is a good guy for me.

such a sweet guy!
This also ended up as a private lesson too, somewhat unexpectedly actually, but it worked out well. Trainer M is very big into flat work. Sure, he gives it his own h/j flavor - but it is quite legit and he wants to see me working that horse from back to front, with the hind legs stepping under.

He doesn't mind that I basically can't (won't?) stay on the rail and instead circle and loop endlessly throughout the arena. He doesn't give me shit for trying (crappily) to sit the canter, instead of half seat it. And he is oh-so-happy to dig into some of my long-standing positional weaknesses, like sitting on the outside of the horse and bracing with my upper body. This is an h/j approach I like and can believe in.

the jumps apparently don't move very often lol
I'm so far getting a lot out of his instruction. He says things slightly differently than I'm accustomed to, but I get a very strong sense that he wants to see the same general picture. And the different wording is proving useful. On the flat for sure, but predominantly over fences.

For instance. New trainer M wants to see the same type of canter that Dan wants for jumping. Tho M says it mostly in terms of creating an even stride to the fence, of 'melting' into the rhythm and avoiding micromanaging and picking to the fence, while staying just active enough to prevent Casanova from running past his distance.

He's also happy to dissect each jump from a judge's perspective, which is useful for a rider like me who all too often will think "Well, we made it over, so that's good enough for me!"

they have xc fences too!
Everything Dan says about the quality of the canter - the 'jump' in it, and the importance of avoiding letting it get flat, are just as important with M. But it somehow feels a little different working through it with a school horse that clearly knows the job.

M started us off through another one stride grid that I again was much too defensive through. Then a line that we cantered into and trotted out of. Then a roll back. Then putting it all together into a small course.

Doing it a couple times in a row bc while I nailed it the first time (and god it took every ounce of mental strength I had not to pull), I messed up a bit the second time and had to go back and fix it a third. (tho being totally honest, getting the correct canter going into the line we were expected to trot out of eluded me for essentially the entire lesson)

handsome even if he's grumpy
In a way a favorite aspect of riding schoolies is the feeling like I can focus totally on myself. There were times riding Isabel in a lesson where I felt like we shouldn't repeat an exercise even tho I personally could use the work, bc the horse had already done it well. But with a schoolie it's all about me, all the time. Almost therapeutic haha.

Plus it's proving to be a useful opportunity to get to know this new trainer and program. I'm obviously not abandoning any of the other trainers I've been working with for the past few years - I love them all dearly and have gotten a lot out of their programs. But it's been hard to keep riding with them without a horse of my own.

So for now I'm just chasing the ponies, riding where I can find interesting things to ride. And hopefully figuring some things out in the process!

42 comments:

  1. So you're an eventer at a hunter barn, and I'm a hunter at an eventer barn. Looks like a lovely place and it sounds like you're getting good lessons!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha isn't it funny how that works out? It's a nice place tho so we will see how it shakes out

      Delete
  2. Getting to work on yourself is so fun - especially when you've got so many different instructors to help! Sounds like M brings even more awesome to the arsenal of instructors you have available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! And yea I like M's style. He's very laid back too. Mostly tho it's good to just get that laser-like focus on me from someone who doesn't necessarily know or care about any of my baggage lol

      Delete
  3. Did I miss that you switched barns and have a new trainer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well Isabel still lives where Isabel lives and I still ride at about 3-4 different barns where all my trainers are. So yes this is a new addition to the mix, mostly bc they have nice lesson horses that I can ride since finding interesting horses for my lessons elsewhere has proved exhausting.

      Delete
  4. It sounds like M is going to fit right into the program!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's my hope! And it sure beats riding naughty ponies haha

      Delete
  5. The new barn is just as lovely looking as the others you have posted. M sounds like he will bring another piece to your training.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This barn is definitely gorgeous! Esp bc I always seem to be there near dusk lol.

      Delete
  6. RIDE ALL THE PONIES! I think it's really good to ride a variety. So you don't get stuck or too comfortable. It teaches you a lot of about the way you ride and handle different situations. Which makes me a total hypocrite because I rarely ever ride different ponies....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha yup I have basically been riding whatever gets thrown in my path since July...

      Delete
  7. Good training is good training in any form! Glad you found a new barn that has some nice lesson horses - those can be hard to find. It is fun to get a chance to work on just yourself and not have to worry about a green bean learning as you go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed completely about good training in any form. I honestly like the green beans a lot and see more of that coming in my hopefully not too distant future. But for now I'm really hoping to sharpen myself up and work on some persistent nasty habits.

      Delete
  8. Good H/J trainers like that are such a gift! And it is SO nice to be able to take a mental break from training the horse and just work on your own skills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea this guy is great too bc he will basically give you whatever kind of lesson you want. Anything from toodling around for an hour to a serious focused ride.

      Delete
    2. He sounds awesome! If I'm ever not totally broke from spending $$$ on training board, I'd love to take laid back jump lessons on a schoolie.

      Delete
    3. Well if you ever wanna join me for a lesson at this place lmk! They are super laid back folks and have some very pleasant and easy going horses. Lesson prices are reasonable too.

      Delete
    4. Awesome - i may take you up on that later this fall!

      Delete
    5. Definitely do :) I'm easy to reach at fraidycat.eventing at gmail

      Delete
  9. hes WAY cute. i know things seem rough and exhausting right now but i know you're going to come out the other side of this a way better rider.

    keep kickin on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks :) that's what I keep hoping!!

      Delete
  10. I feel like I missed a post or something... Did you change barns?

    Also - omg, Casanova is SO handsome. I like him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well it's kinda hard to say i switched barns in a way. isabel lives where she lives, but we don't have trainers there so i've always gone to other barns for lessons and training. this is just one more lesson barn

      Delete
    2. I'm an idiot... I thought you had trainers at Isabel's barn... D'oh.

      Delete
    3. Unfortunately no we don't.... Dan would travel to us when I was riding Isabel but otherwise we haul out for weekly jump lessons at OF, and dressage lessons at trainer C's barn. And since I'm not training wth Isabel now, if I want to ride with Dan I have to make the three hour round trip to him. This new trainer M is at yet another farm - but he has more horses in his lesson program, as opposed to P who only has ponies and Dan and C who don't have lesson horses.

      Delete
  11. I really love seeing how all the disciplines really work together when done well (to a certain point) and sometimes hearing another way to look at things really improves your perspective. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hunter lessons for life, yo. Best jump lessons ever!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm loving how open you are to riding different horse and taking different lessons. It seems like a very wise plan for making future decisions :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's very interesting that part of your barn hop was due to how exhausting it was trying to find horses fit for lessoning/riding with because I'm actually in the same boat in a few ways. Glad you had a good lesson with new trainer and newish horse, they sound like a good fit so far (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure I would say I'm barn hopping - I continue to ride with the same three trainers I've had for the past couple years. Two don't have lesson horses tho and the other doesn't have many for more advanced work. This new trainer does tho so it helps me keep riding without having to subject myself to begging for horses to ride (which usually end up being problem children like krimpet who buck me off)

      Delete
  15. Glad you are enjoying a foray back to your roots :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya know I really am! I understand the concepts and the purpose, but it's been a while since I've really tried to lay down a true hunter course. It's different haha! Plus my eventing trainers will basically never really truly nail me for being overly defensive in my position, even tho that's a big part of my problem with stadium. So this h/j coach will hopefully be able to help me make more progress there.

      Delete
  16. I like the sound of this barn/program/trainer. Glad he's got some good horses for you to lesson on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! The program is definitely way better suited for standard riding school type lessons than the other trainers I use, most of whom have students with privately owned horses

      Delete
  17. im glad youre getting riding time! Miss seeing you aroung here, but sounds like these lessons are pretty awesome. Dont be a stranger!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yay for big grey geldings that make for wonderful learning partners!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love how you can fit each instructor's lessons into each other and see how they are all looking for similar things, just going about it different ways.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love your ambition to just go anywhere and try all the horses! I'm hoping that soon I'll have money more in order to start riding schoolies because I could sure use it!

    ReplyDelete