Saturday, January 18, 2014

First Lesson of the Year

 “If you do keep trying, there is no guarantee that you will succeed, but if you don’t keep trying, it is absolutely guaranteed that you will not succeed.” -Denny Emerson, How Good Riders Get Good.
Silly selfie pic for the day!
The weather was beyond beautiful last Monday when I had my first lesson of 2014. Of course the definition of beautiful weather in the winter time is vastly different from the definition in summer. But, it was mid-40's and sunny and best of all the footing in the outdoor was thawed and decent.

My goal in this post is to point out both the good and the bad from our lesson. Aoife from Pampered Ponies reminded me to look at the positives and not just dwell on the negatives and I think that is a very smart idea.

So, The Good:

Our flat work is really coming along. Loki is slowly starting to accept the contact and he is getting stronger, getting closer to being round and actually bringing his hind end underneath him. We're not there yet but he is getting better especially at the walk and trot.

We warmed up over some simple cross rails and Loki stayed nice and quiet and maintained a good rhythm. Honestly, he was pretty much perfect for the first half of our lesson. We didn't run into trouble until:

The Bad:

We put a small course together and everything went really well until we switched the course around and started jumping the last line going towards home. Lori also raised the height of the last fence at the same time. I suffer from what I like to call firstfenceitus (It's this illogical nervousness that comes the first time over a new fence or a fence I just haven't jumped in a while. Luckily it has been getting better, now it only raises it's ugly head at about 2'6" or so.) so it was probably a combination of my nerves for the slightly higher fence and the fact that we were headed towards home but the first time through Loki grabbed the bit and pretty much bulldozed through the line. He did make it over and kept the fence up but there was no adjustment or even acknowledgement that I was on his back. We went through a couple of more times with about the same results. Finally, the last time through I remembered something very important LET GO OF THE FLIPPING REINS! And we were able to at least end on a good note. He was still a little riled up but better.

The Conclusion:


Mostly I'm just mad at myself because I've been through this so many times before. When I snatch the reins Loki's reaction is to snatch back and run. I thought we were getting through this but obviously we still need to work on it. Mostly, I need to work on it! We also still need to work on our canter. The trot work is getting along so great but I realize I've been neglecting our canter work. Loki is just not as balanced as he needs to be and it is showing and probably also contributing to his fence rushing. *sigh* It feels like we've been working on this forever and will be working on it for quite some time to come. Well, anyways we have our work cut out for us during these next few months. Since the weather is icky cold again we will be back in the indoor cantering, cantering, cantering with lots of transitions thrown in.

9 comments:

  1. Ouch- firstfenceitis. I've had that before!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like I've always had it. For the most part I can push myself through it but not enough that my horse can't feel my nerves which doesn't help things.

      Delete
  2. Despite the ending it sounds like a very positive lesson to me, particularly as you turned it around and ended on a great note. Looking forward to reading more of yout progress in the coming weeks, as people keep telling me look at all you've achieved as well as what you're still working on. I know I get bogged down in the stuff I still can't do and forget about the things I couldn't do a few months ago that I can do now

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! It's very easy to get discouraged if you only focus on the negatives. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we are just starting out and we have plenty of time.

      Delete
  3. I feel like just cantering around doesn't really help the canter- but lots of trot-canter transitions will help and I did some modified roll backs at the canter to help Wiz get stronger when he was still very weak... just some thoughts. But don't dwell on it too much, I know bad lessons can really bring us down but there's always going to be some bad with the good! Hopefully there will be improvement next time :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Transitions, transitions, transitions, especially downwards canter to trot transitions we will be practicing a lot.

      Delete
  4. 2 steps forward and 1 step back is STILL 1 step forward! You got this!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have the same issue. I hyper concentrate on two key points my trainer likes to tell me and it helps a lot.

    ReplyDelete