Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yet Another Wonderful Lesson

Yesterday my little wondermare put in yet another great performance in our weekly lesson. We did a LOT of work on the trot. The last two weeks we focused a lot on the canter and now we are back to focusing on the trot, which has been our primary focus for the flat work. We worked on getting her to go on the bit and stay there with slight contact. It took a while, but once I got us both in the right place it really improved the trot and once the trot was steady we began working on getting the head set back to the right spot. Just as with everything else with Satin it was much easier to the left than the right, but we finally got some nice stuff to the right after quite a few times around.

The main focus was getting my hands and body in the right spot in order to get Satin in the right spot. Once this was achieved it was easier to get the trot where we wanted it. Renee has me take a slight contact with my hands touching her neck so I was not tempted to want to move them or do too much with them. I also have a tendency to let my right shoulder get too far out in front going to the right, so we also had to work on adjusting that, which we had worked on last week.

After we finally got what we wanted to the right, Renee had me turn around and try it to the left one more time. Well, if we got good trot to the right, we got fantastic trot to the left! I could feel it before Renee even said a word. She put herself into perfect frame and stayed there. She also had a wonderful pace and was coming up from behind perfectly. Renee and I were both beaming as she just kept repeating "There", "That's it", "perfect". It was what Renee called a "flat class winning trot". Our homework is to keep doing those trot exercises and achieving that "flat class winning trot".

As far as the jumping, that went very well too. Renee had moved some of the smaller, interesting jumps from the indoor outside changing the course up a bit. We started with a simple 4 jumps course, all jumps we had done before, 2 singles and a diagonal line. She went over them all no problem, just slight hesitations on my part. It takes me longer to warm up for the jumping than her! LOL

Anyway, after that we worked on a single line we had done before, which went okay except for a long spot. Then we did another course starting with what Renee called a "stile" jump. It was a narrow 6 foot wide jump coming off the standard of another jump. I am not a fan of the narrow jumps so I was a bit hesitant, which translated to Satin. That plus not having her straight enough, since it was a diagonal jump coming off a turn, caused a couple of stops. I straightened her out, lifted my seat, and attempted it at the trot and she popped over no problem. Then we went right back to it at the canter and she was perfect. Then we continued the rest of the course which was the diagonal line around to two single jumps. It was our best trip ever up the diagonal line. She got the striding and distances perfect.

We finished up working on the one stride which was a cross rail to an oxer. Well when we cantered around to face it, Miss Mare did a double take and slowed to stop. She gave a look like "Um guys, do you know there are 2 jumps very close together here??". We attempted it a few more times, including at the trot. We finally got her over the cross rail than she cut out on the oxer. Renee came down and took the cross rail down so we could do the oxer on its own. She stopped once than realized "oh it's just one jump now, okay" and then went over the oxer fine. We did the oxer on its own a few times and once she was comfortable put the cross rail back up. We put her through the one stride a few times and she got some really nice jumps. In the end Renee and I were quite pleased with the little wondermare.

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