Wednesday 31 August 2011

2 Super lessons

A little late in updating and I'm afraid I have no pictures, so please don't feel obliged to read on if you prefer photographic rewards for perceverance!
I had a flat lesson on Friday morning before catching the train to Brussels and flying back to Ireland for the weekend.
It went really well, it was a lovely sunny morning, yet not too hot and we worked in the outdoor while someone else lunged their horse above us in the top half of the ring - at a later stage his partner came on her black cob and rode around for a bit also and then they left, all the while Kika remained focused on the job at hand and didn't kick up a fuss at being left "alone" (she was never going to be alone as I was there, L was there and L's 2 dogs were there - but sometimes there is just no reasoning with the mare!)
Anyways we worked on a circle around L, making it larger and smaller as i was instructed. Changing rein, keeping Kika in an outline while doing so and we worked on all three paces including many transitions up and down!
The biggest things i have to work on are keeping the contact, heels down, shoulders back and stop twisting when i'm on the right rein - apparently I am completely crooked in the saddle in that direction more so than the other! I have actually been told to pick a point in the center of my circle and turn towards it with my whole body to get my shoulders square with hers. I really should get a video of myself to watch to see my awful equitation - needless to say I will not be posting it on the world wide web! *blush*
Plenty other things to work on, but those are the main ones!
We then took a stroll down towards the woods with L and the dogs to cool K off and to stretch the puppies legs before L went home for her lunch, ;-)

Then Monday we had a Pole Work lesson, within which i did my first jump since last October!
I was happily working away on my trotting poles, doing as i was told when L set up a pretty cool (tyo my mind) et of poles. I'll trya nd explain it, she had three, then four poles "normally" flat on the ground which K and i negociated. Then after a few turns over them, she raised the middle two slightly but on opposite ends - meaning it ended up looking like a spaced out low cross pole. Which got a lovely bouncy trot out of Kika as she raised her feet a little more for two poles.
She then sneakily (to her mind) moved the poles together and created an actual cross pole with a trotting pole infront of it. She then proceeded to raise the cross pole for each "round". Kika found this excercise quite difficult and it felt very strange for me to ride it, as initially she kept trying (and succeeded in/) to jump the trotting pole and the cross pole as an imaginative spread set to challenge her. Once the ground pole was moved a little further back and she had to step between it and the cross pole she felt like she was just flopping over the cross pole - even when it was raised. So i kept either getting left behind or was infront of the movement, either way it was not comfortable for either of us. When I asked L what i was doing wrong, she couldn't help but giggle she said it wasn't actually me but Kika! She wasn't using her backend at all, the point of teh excercise was to get her to push off the ground from behind, yet Kika was practically landing with her front feet before she made any attempt to push with her backside, which is why i was being jostled around in the saddle - weird double movement.
So L had me ride it again holding K together a bot more over the pole then using my leg between the pole and the fence, it still wasn't quite right. So i asked L did she want to hop up and see if she could get it right as i had a feeling it was me more so than Kika. After a few tries, and a larger cross (Kika seems to think smaller fences below her *roll-eyes*), L finished up happy saying that i have to learn to hold her together more and then really using my leg and/or stick to get her to pick herself up and push over the fence.

Good for us, some more homework and the dreaded first jump feeling that could have arisen was completely disregarded. L was actually smirking away to herself saying that she'd conned me into jumping and that I wasn't scared. To which i truthfully told her, while the horse is behaving i fear is when i don't know where i stand with her that i get nervous.

All in all I felt we had two great lessons, I feel for the mare that she is lumbered with me as a jockey, but while i have someone to help teach me and correct my woeful bad habits i feel we are making progress and getting things into shape quite nicely! Will see what I can do about pictures and/or maybe a video at some stage, but not sure about that one as I am awful!

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