|Yawning tired Tillie getting groomed|
Taking Tillie off the trailer on day 2, she was much more chill then day 1. Tillie took a casual look around and started munching on hay. I still chose to get on her early with it being chillier and try to go for a relaxing warm up. I got on her and instantly could tell I had a different horse from yesterday. She was still looking around and curious, but was either tired so didnt have the energy to carry on or really just that relaxed after already seeing it all the day before.
|so thankful for my grooms :)|
Once we walked out the outdoor when Dom was ready, we trotted and cantered briefly around the entire ring to get a good look at all the new jumps out with fill. I opted to grab my crop after this for added support.since she did feel a bit tired and knowing we would be jumping a triple combo and jumping a liverpool.
Dom said we were the big kids in our group so opted to have us warm up over a single vertical fence rather then an X to see if we all learned a bit about our approaches from the day before. Dom sent each of us through to go over it 2x each direction. He said he sent the fence purposefully to have two different approaches depending which way you jumped into it: One side was a longer approach and the other off a turn. This would challenge your eye early on the ride.
Dom right away commended me on not leaning and staying taller on the approach (me being a silly girl didn't know what to say and just laughed).
Before I went, he discussed with another rider who was struggling to get the right ride off the turn (either too long of a take off or chipping in) how to use the turn to set up your striding. He said too many people worry too much about pushing and pulling the canter when its more about the rhythm and using the path of the curve to adjust the striding.
- To remove a stride, take a smaller turn to the fence
- To add a stride, take a wider longer turn to the fence
He asked me on the left lead to demonstrate this adjust-ability by going to a more open stride after we did it twice before from the same striding:
|Tillie basically ran over it|
Next we moved onto the liverpool. Myself and one other rider's horse had not seen one before, but Dom said he wanted each of us to trot into it first, then canter it. He folded it in half at first for it to seem less daunting and spoke to us about desensitizing.
- Never assume your horse is comfortable with it
- Always re-introduce the liverpool to build confidence
- Youll lose more by assuming they are comfortable and wont lose anything by taking it slow
Tillie could have cared less about it and basically ran through it both times earning a chuckle from the crowd.
BENDING LINE - LIVERPOOL - 4 STRIDE OUTSIDE LINE
At this point we started stringing some fences together and we started getting more into riding courses. I noticed many riders, even in previous groups struggled with the bending line to the liverpool to get the right striding. We took a bit of flyer to get 6 strides which Dom commented was a bit of a stretch and not a bad ride, but the 7 would probably be safer and more comfortable for us but to be able to react and make the choice in that moment.
He called it a freeze frame mid jump. He encouraged everyone to be able to take a moment mid jump and know your plan when you landed for how you wanted to ride that next fence. It showed how when 1 fell apart, the remaining jumps tended to get harder to clean up and get nice for some so Dom pointed out how important it is in stadium to have the precise ride.
This is where the real fun begins! The jump started going up and despite Tillie feeling a bit tired, she really started to fly. The first time through I dont think she had quite enough canter but she quickly got it together and soared over the liverpool oxer. Dom reminded me to stay tall to allow her shoulders to come up and longer we went the better she went (or I was starting to feel a difference when I sat up!?) Its quite amazing how many trainers have all been saying the same thing, but for some reason the way Dom worded it made a light bulb go off...and clearly it did for Tillie too!
Dom's commentary here again just excites me to no end! He again boasts over Tillie's jumping ability and you can hear him say to the group its quite amazing despite her downhill build. After this course, he was very polite and said "Please don't take this the wrong way, but your horse is build a bit down hill yea?" To which I replied "No offense taken, but yea she is." He said she really is a powerful jumper and does a great job getting really up and over the fence, but the key with her is to allow time for her shoulders to come up. Because when I do she really does jump and quite well. He seemed to be a little bit in awe about it actually lol.
The fences went up again for our final course:
Honestly, I was so in love with my horse in this moment and beyond excited at how much Dom loved her I am so glad I had the footage to re-watch and re-listen. I am really hoping we can recreate this feeling at home with P and I am actually thinking of trying to see if Dom would come down to me for some lessons - having a trainer/instructor so excited about your horse is just so neat. Of course we all want to hear that, but there is something about when they truly like your horse that makes you get it.
AHHH!!! All in all so excited for this year and feel more confident then ever to go into this season.