We trailered over to Charlene and Mike’s tonight for a lesson, and boy was it a good one! We started off with some flat work, as usual, working on Will’s frame and roundness. I was amazed at how well my back could move, and how well I could actually sit the trot! Maybe it’s the chiropractor’s work, or maybe my sub conscious took in a lot of info on monday night. Whatever it is, I’m loving it. After we got him going around nice and supple and bending off my aids, we moved onto some grid work. After a few warm up rounds, Charlene added another level.. No hands. It was probably one of the most amazing things I’ve felt in a while, and also the scariest. Definitely requires you to have trust in your horse, and your coach. It also helped me to soften my release over following fences, and get a feel for how he rounds and jumps nice when he has a good release. Day by day we’re turning my boy into a nicer horse.
After the hands free grid work, we started jumping other fences. The first was a single oxer off the diagonal with boxes and flowers. We got over the first time, with some hesitation, but over all pretty good. After that the good jumps just kept coming. We found all the distances!
The next jump we worked on was a single vertical off the other diagonal, it was wide with lots of boxes and flowers in front. Will really shouldn’t have had any problem with it, as he’s seen jumps worse than this many times, but of course he had to stop and have a little freak out. We got over it the next time, and after jumping it a few times and raising it, he was flying over it pretty as could be.
The we started to work on a 4 stride line. At first we just jumped the first jump and turned out of the line, so we could concentrate on getting the right distance into the line every time- meaning a better chance of getting a good distance and striding out of the line later on. We were able to find our pace quite well tonight, so finding the distances was much easier. When we started working on the complete line, Charlene told me to just gallop down and push for the 4 strides, and to do whatever it takes to get the distance, no matter how ugly. So that’s precisely what we did. The first few times it definitely wasn’t pretty, and we definitely didn’t get 4 strides. It didn’t help that the tard was looking at the flowers.. again. After we got over that issue, it got a little bit easier to get 4 strides. I was still pressing him, but by the last time through I felt as though I’d be able to smooth it out without him chipping or hesitating. Charlene said that next time we would work on exactly that, smoothing it out and making it look show ready. This was a good lesson to follow up the show I had. I’ve got some of my confidence back, and so does he.
I really noticed a difference tonight in my riding, which is encouraging. My lower leg was better, my back didn’t hurt. Except for after a few quick stops and spins we had. My ankle is still a little jammed, but that’s no biggie. My hip/ass muscles are still not happy at all, but, one day at a time. Riding without pain is a whole new world, and I’m liking it. Now just have to rid myself of pain in all other aspects too and we’ll be golden. I was also impressed that I was able to ride as well as I did tonight after biking 9 miles yesterday and doing a pretty decent work out afterwards. It sure feels good to be working out again, hopefully this keeps working and I can stay consistent and build some solid core strength, which is super important for me.
In other news, FLIGHT IS BOOKED AND SPOT IS OFFICIALLY HELD IN THE FACULTY FOR ONE YEAR! !!! 104 days!!!