Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bipolar east coast weather = Cold and wet jump lessons

This past weekend was hopefully mother nature's last hurrah for winter...sick cruel joke if you ask me to have sleet/snow/rain for the first day of spring. Eventers are known for sticking it out through all weather, so we all loaded up, layered up and headed to our weekly saturday jump lesson with P.

Very wet and very cold lesson
I am not going to hide it, I was a bit of a baby after we stopped moving after warm up and in between our turn trying each exercise. But in my defense, my layers were not staying waterproof and ultimately soaked through which had me shivering and teeth chattering after a few minutes of sitting still. Tillie really didnt see to care and would have much preferred to nap instead.

Before our lesson, we saw the fitter to try a few different saddles to see what would work. Tillie was a star and stood patiently through the entire appointment even when it came to hopping on and off her a few times to try her moving in each one as well.

Yawning / Tired Tillie

We were hopeful as we drove to the lesson that the weather would hold off since it seemed to lighten a bit. But once we arrived it was pretty steadily coming down so we headed to the indoor to warm up. P came in and announced it wasnt doing anything that hard anymore so we should go to the outdoor ring (which is preferable with less dust and more space).

  The lesson seemed straightforward, but it could have been my brain was so distracted from being wet and cold I just glazed over.

Or froze over...
I had a bit of a realization in this lesson. I really do a poor job as a rider with the approach to the first fence on course and lines the first time through...I can trot into fences all day long, but as soon as you ask me to come in cantering I just cant sit up and wait for that first fence. Exhibit A:

Before going into this, I had asked P if I could just try trotting the skinny fence since skinnies tend to be the fences Tillie sucks back and questions by fishtailing a bit. P told me quite boldly no lol and to own it and we would be fine. Clearly from the video, Tillie could have cared less.

P sent us around to try it again to clean up the first fence by using more of our turn on the approach which seemed to work well. I also rode a but more forward to the coop...which we didnt remove a stride or anything, it was more mental for me to ride her without needing to do much and let her figure it out:

So P had us string together the entire course together:

So we had a bit of a blip on the outside line...and I clearly dont know how to freakin wait with my shoulders, but Tillie was a solid citizen and saved my butt. I can see a few of the jumps where I micromanage she isnt jumping as well, but Im trying not to worry so much about her form and realize, shes getting over these without issue and isnt over faced so I need to stop.

P had us try the outside line on more time to get the striding right and man, when the forward stride works it feels so great...and it makes me realize I need to get more comfortable riding out of this forward stride now that Tillie is allowing me to half halt her without losing her mind:

I didnt really think all that much of good or bad outcome from the lesson...probably from being so could. But either way, its def one to check off for testing riding in crappy and less than ideal weather right?!

The still over the second fence of the open 3 stride line. LOVE Tillies form here :)


  1. I don't think I can move north again. I've become a baby. You guys are looking good!

  2. Her knees in that pic--perfection!

  3. Tillie made it all look easy peasy :)