Initially, we were going to go XC at Windurra USA again, but the weather had other ideas so we re-routed and rode, for the first time, at Dom's indoor.
I went in explaining to Dom I really wanted more security over those bigger fences when Tillie is jumping large. While this weekend's training out was a good one, I dont want to be in a position where I feel like I need to focus on recovering from getting jumped out the tack, PLUS handling a combo, PLUS terrain out XC.
|Mare glare for days|
So the goal was simple...keep the exercise simple and focus on staying out of the tack. Basically an entire lesson staying in 2-point. I must admit, I was thinking I would get winded or tired really quickly. I am proud to say, I didnt at all but do need to work on the jumping portion more ( I still am having the tendency to lock my knees and ankles on landing).
Dom pretty quickly into warming up suggested I try his saddle - a monoflap Stubben S Zaria Optimum.
Dom had me feel it out and set the tone with cantering around in it and then in two point to really establish my weight down in my leg:
Once satisfied with that we moved onto warming up with cavelletti...which I am noticing Dom loves to use alot at first and a training technique I need to incorporate more even if I dislike them (which btw is something i realized today probably because they are freakin hard!)
Here is us warming up over them in a serpentine trying to get our leads...please excuse Tillie's sass at me for making her turn a bit harder (a bit of a theme of todays lesson):
You can hear Dom helping to coach me to stay up out of the saddle without using my hands or sitting too soon...easier said then done! Not on film was a much longer discussion about it with him empathizing as to why I do it, her sass and her past habit if landing downhill and in a heap, but despite her sass, in his opinion he really isnt landing like that anymore so I need to be better about letting her land on her own and figure it out.
Can you say micro manage too much on my part?!
At least the above video we get our leads consistently and manage to complete the exercise fairly well until the very last gappy one...but hey Ill take it! I realized i dont like these so much because Tillie really badly wants to get flat and throw herself at them, just like the last jump in this video above...I realize by doing more of these, that elusive perfect half halt will come more nicely.
Then Dom added the jumps to the mix with the same concept, just stay out of the tack. Tillie was all fine and dandy, but make sure you wait alllll the way to the end. Sure enough its right after Dom convinces me to be nice and be softer to let her land and figure things out...she pulls her old sass I havent seen in a really long time:
It doesnt freak me out nearly as much as it used to, even if it looks like I get unseated, it doesnt feel that way anymore. In all honesty, she was just really excited and feeling good it felt like.
Dom agreed, if you listen he calls her a monkey! LOL. After filming he said it was a much nicer jump on my part but it was a bit of a longer distance then he wanted hence the excitement and at home we want to get a bit closer while in competition that is acceptable for sure.
Below, she finally fell into a rhythm over the line but the Oxer we just didnt see the right distance so we started to drift and got a pretty long spot which resulted in pulling a rail and Tillie really getting mad about it:
Unfortunately my videographers had a bit of an issue, so werent able to capture our last but really awesome jump over it...go figure! But they did manage to get the line in one more time, which rode more forward and in a clean 5 rather than a short, added 6:
All in all, it was a tough lesson...and one I am determined to keep working on at home. I am being really tough on myself, but know I have a ton of work to do. I can see my tension in my lower leg on landing and incredibly frustrated with just keeping my silly butt out of the saddle!!! I know it takes time to change an old habit, I just dont like being the student that requires repeating the same thing more than once is all.
I am glad to know though Tillie isnt hurting after the step up! I am set on doing more conditioning though, but please to know she isnt unhappy or backing off her job. I am starting to consider taking more lessons on other horses so I can keep practicing without over working her.