Yesterday was another "P" lesson and boy was it cold. We have been really spoiled lately with this warmer winter so far...but Friday brought in a cold front and it was cold and windy. I did ride Tillie Friday night and lets just say something was in the air. She was in a mood tacking up and just was making all sorts of faces even when grooming her. First getting on she felt cold backed and coiled up and just so braced everywhere I knew I needed to slowly work though each area to try to unlock her.
She always has tense days here and there, but this tension was through her whole body back before I started her on Depo and before really digging into dressage lessons with C. She was also insanely spooky which is not normal. The kind of spooking where she would go full on giraffe mode and then bolt a few steps. I realized at this point I have been a bad mom and have not been consistent with the Depo.
Despite this, she started figuring things out and I consider that a win since in the past it would not have improved. We did some canter poles which she really wanted to brace through and ended the night with walk trot walk transitions.
On to yesterdays lesson...it was another cold day and I have the best barn friends ever because I had some things to take care of in the morning and didnt think I would be able to make it to the lesson since I knew I wouldnt have enough time to load up Tillie. Well my wonderful friends did it all for me! I met them there and I was delightfully surprised to open the trailer door to this:
|NOTE: Her front boots are on the wrong feet...my friend has never done |
shipping boots and got a bit confused! oops!
Tillie in her BOT blanket and shipping boots that apparently are my Christmas present! I think it makes Tillie look quite smashing if I may say so.
She was a bit spooky at first too, but at least wasnt jumpy or anything. Mostly looking around more then usual. Once I was on, she hacked up to the ring just fine! Yay for progress there! I could feel her in warm up trying to trick me into riding off my hands by scooting forward when I added leg, but would duck behind or above contact in the process. So really just not connecting.
P sorta coached me through some of that by telling me to just stay consistent, half halt and give back since I have the tendency when she does this to try to find contact by pulling (BAD BAD BAD!!) She also shortened my stirrups ALOT which seemed to do the trick - her theory being if they are too long and youre reaching, you arent moving with them which causes this issue.
I also started trying to not fuss with her as much and just ignore it by staying consistent in my rhythm and let the jumps sort some of her tension out...she loves it so knew she would settle in (Crazy i can say things like that now!!)
Here is some video from the lesson:
P really had me concentrating more on keeping my elbows in as I like to flap them like wings over fences...and also work more on my release. We talked about the auto crest release and working towards being able to be comfortable enough to put my hands lower on her neck since I tend to let them float which sometimes results in me catching her in the mouth.
|See forward hands!! Tillie's face here is awesome...she says I GOT THIS.|
- We started off with a centerline grid to warm up slowly adding more and more jumps. It turned into a bounce to a wide low oxer working on compressing and expanding.
- Building off this line, it turned into two bounces to the low wide oxer which could be a 2 or 3 stride. P recommended sticking with the 3 until we sorted some of our tension issues out.
- Then we did the one stride grid line set to about 18" - Tillie really hit her groove here and this is where we talked about releasing more.
- The grid went up in height and ran through it then...Tillie made it feel easy :)
- Then we did the oxer grid. Same thing, Tillie just was spot on.
- Then we did the whole exercise together except we came in the centerline grid the opposite way to make sure they were paying attention - I messed up here and Tillie sailed through the rest of the line no problem but was sure to tell me I was wrong after the fact (unfortunately the sass was not caught on video)
|My face after messing up...laughing, Tillie staying focused.|
P did make me run through that line on more time and we called it a day. All in all it was another confidence boosting lesson. The more repetition I get over fences the less I tense and the more I can start playing with trusting myself and Tillie enough to work on some other things.
The horses were great after the lesson and just too cute all matching.