Friday, August 26, 2016

Schooling that was more lesson than schooling

On Saturday we went schooling and took a lesson for it.  I went with the other barn owner, MC, and it took ALL DAY.  I felt like it was an all day horse show, I left the house at 630a and didn't get back until 445p and I had only one 11a lesson!  Ugh.  I was SO exhausted.  I had a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats at 630a, 2 granola bars and nothing else until 5p.  My batteries were drained and I spent over an hour on the couch just trying to get some energy back.  I slept over 9 hours that night.  Seriously!
Happy Appys
The lesson went really well, I liked her teaching style.  The instructor immediately narrowed in on my lack of engagement of Mia's hind end and said I needed to work her harder.  Ugh, I am trying!  Apparently I am not doing a good enough job.  She also said I wrap my legs around my horse too much (????  I didn't think that was possible?) and my stirrups are shorter than she is usually comfortable with.  I didn't know having stirrups too short on XC was possible, I have a very solid bend in my leg and at times feel like they are still too long.  Michael Jung says you can't have stirrups too I am going to stick with that.  The other thing she got onto me about was releasing too much rein, I am dropping Mia when she needs me most.  I need to put her into a dressage type canter at, over and after the fence.  Right now I let her go at the base of the fence, let my reins slide all the way over the fence and then pick her up after.  She said that is the reason Mia is bolt-y after the fence, I have dropped her, she is now on her forehand and is having to use speed to get over the fences.  Hmmm....  I haven't heard this line of thinking before, interesting.

The instructor did a neat little rein exercise where she had me "ride" while the she held the reins by Mia's head.  She showed me how it felt as we were going up to and over a fence, both when I held contact and when I gave it away.  VERY interesting!  I have always given plenty of rein over the fence as to not jab the horse in the mouth, it feels much worse than keeping contact.  There is contact, then none, and then I have to pull over the fence to get the contact back.  Very cool exercise, I guess now I need work on that too.

I love the views from the oudoor arena
Sadly I didn't get to go over many fences as we spent the first part of the ride focusing on MC and her horse as it was throwing mini hissy fits (and bucked her off at one point).  I did get to play a lot with a down bank and got Mia to canter up to it and down it without pausing.  Win!  Apparently I need to go forward a little more over the drop instead of staying in the back seat the entire time.  It was very strange to do, and counter to what I have heard in the past, but it went well so....  We also went over a ditch.  It was kinda funny, there were some weeds in it and Mia just trotted it like it was trot poles and stepped down into the ditch.  Funny mare.  The instructor mushed down the weeds and when we went back over it, she jumped it without hesitation!!  That is so awesome, we have made such progress over these damn ditches.   I am tired of falling off over ditches.

I did good, yes?!  Treats please!
I had wanted to go over ALL of the jumps and it just didn't play out that way.  Oh well, I feel pretty comfortable with the facility now, it was a very nice facility and I am looking forward to going back to it on Sept 4th.  I gave Mia Sunday and Monday off and rode on Tuesday and she was good.  Her dressage is coming back nicely and her canter is starting to decompress again while she keeps her hind end engaged (I think anyway, geez).  Win!  In looking at the video I took, she is still very in front of the bit (despite feeling like my reins are SOOOOO short and I am yanking on her) and certainly not stretching down like it feels.  Disappointing for sure.  Just more to work towards before our show.

1 comment:

  1. It's difficult when you have a lesson and it's different then what you have heard before. You have to figure out is it better or this person just wrong? But it sounds successful to me and you had fun.