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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Two-fer

Thank you everyone for all the supportive comments pre-xray and the celebratory post-xray comments!  I can move forward with making some real plans for Mr. H :)



I was able to squeeze in two lessons with Coach D before I left for the music festival (my liver/circadian rhythm are still recovering from a wonderful 3 days!).  My lesson schedule has been so sporadic due to time/budget constraints lately, so I don't usually end up doing a proper re-cap.  But I had two pretty cool lessons that I actually remembered to make notes about on my phone after, so here goes!

Lesson #1 - Apollo

Apollo had a fair bit of time off after our show (his human was sick).   And we haven’t had a Coach D lesson in a while.  I thought we’d be doing a flat lesson for sure and re-establishing things there.  So when I got a text from her asking me to haul some jumps outside.... I was a bit shocked.


But I found myself dragging three jumps out to the front lawn.  

We did start on the flat.  I have a hard time getting him consistently in a contact so she gave me some tips and exercises to help me.  She correctly accused me of not regularly asking him to take a contact so I can’t be surprised that things are hit-or-miss.  

We did this really neat exercise where I did a leg yield in the trot to the wall, did a 10 metre circle and then departed into our canter.  I got the best canter out of him EVER to the left.  And left is his trickier direction!  I didn’t even know that canter lived inside my horse... it was pretty cool!


Then we went outside.  Coach D promptly cranked up my teeny tiny three jumps to a more respectable size.  As far as I can remember I have never jumped Apollo outside.  Which is embarrassing as I have ridden at lots of barns with outdoor arenas/jumps.  

We trotted in and then cantered all three.  He clipped a rail a few times but was very honest about going to the fences.  I was smiling ear to ear and thought we were done.  

And then she cranked them up more (to maybe 2ft....whoa).

We trotted in and cantered all three and he cleared them by a mile.  I really wish I had asked her to take some pictures/videos for me because Apollo felt really great.  
 
She does this wonderful thing at the end of the lesson where she gives me her thoughts on everything in the lesson and gives me homework.  It really helps cement things in my brain.  It's kind of like Jerry's Final Thought.

Coach D’s Final Thoughts:  She loves Apollo.  She really wants me to get him out and doing stuff.  She thinks he’s quite athletic and agile for a horse of size and he really likes having a job.  She wants to ride him a bit to help give him more education about taking a contact and where to put his body when he’s jumping.  I’m totally on board with that as my current strategy for jumping is currently this “point him straight, add leg, hope for the best”  I think he would be tidier with rails if I set him up a better.  She wants me to make some goals for him.  She is really impressed at how much my release, elbows and hands have improved while I’ve been working on things on my own.  Usually my hands are closed now.  Go me!  My homework is to be more precise about what I’m asking him for and to not put up with his choosing the speed/gait and also figure out what our goals are.


Lesson #2 Mighty Mare

I was in a bit of a time crunch so we did a shorter lesson at Coach D's place.  

She decided to get the most out of a shorter lesson time I would ride without stirrups....







So I did!  And it was not as bad as I thought it would be.  We did walk-canter transitions ad canter-walk transitions.  Mighty Mare is a very well-schooled dressage horse, she has taught me so much and we have really been in sync lately.  Walk-canter transitions feel pretty amazing, especially with no stirrups!  Coach D was happy that my position didn't change when the stirrups disappeared, but honestly I love gripping with my knees without stirrups so NOT doing that was my main focus.


Beautiful Mighty Mare



Coach D thinks riding a super well-schooled horse helps me learn the feel that I'm looking for with Apollo (I agree).  I'm really happy that I've had a few lessons where I really click with Mighty Mare.  I have ridden her a few other times where I just couldn't get into sync with her and now it comes a lot easier to me.



More notes on my "goals" for all three horses coming tomorrow! :)

10 comments:

  1. So exciting! Sounds like two great lessons!

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    1. Definitely! A lot for my brain to absorb but lots of positive progress :)

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  2. Sounds like a great coach! Love that she sounds so motivational. I had a clinician this summer who had me doing the leg yield, circle then canter as well. I found it really helped my mare's hard side!

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    1. She is really great! I'm pretty darn lucky I found her :)

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  3. Coach D sounds awesome! So important to have supportive people. I get some people like discipline and bad asses, but praise and kindness are so under appreciated and utilized.

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    1. She is pretty much the perfect coach for me, I can take a bit of critcism (I'm in a lesson after all) but I'm too much of a softie for those hard ass types...I will legit cry.

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  4. Sounds like some great lessons!

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  5. yay! Sounds like you're being very productive in the saddle!

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    1. When I get into it I definitely am! I wish August wasn't so busy with non-horsey things

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