My recaps lately have been really…bad. I have no media and my brain just can’t quite retain the course in the ring and without a picture of the layout, I can’t adequate describe anything or even draw my own course map. So, apologies in advance. Brain power has been a struggle this week. Migraine fog? On a positive note, this is blog #4 for the week. Woah!
Flat work part 1:
We just did some basic trotting. Mostly working on moving out and nothing overly exciting. The big thing was my outside hand/arm and I was to focus on pulling it back instead of pulling out as Ranger was diving in a bit during the lesson rather than staying on the rail, regardless of the amount of inside leg I stuck on him.
Eventually we started adding in our pole down at the close end of the ring, making a circle over it and ensuring that we stayed even, straight, and all that. Also that my stupid arm pulled back instead of 12 feet out… and turning with 2 hands. You know, all those things because trotting a pole is hard man. Oh, and I could run over a little while pony or large chestnut gelding carting children because that would be bad. We also got to do the entire thing, circles and all, in 2 point where I impressed my trainer with my 2 point and strength of holding 2 point. I considered mentioning my 2pointober championship of yesteryear, but decided that instead of holding 2 point for 30 seconds, I might actually have to hold it for some significant length of time. Yay for past victories!
The canter was more of the same. For some odd reason, I started off with an awkward forward lean, but once I corrected that, I was ok. For there, we basically worked on our circle over the pole and thankfully in both directions I managed several fabulous circles of varying sizes were I didn’t take out ponies or people and even had some lovely tight turns. Circling over the pole was my success of the night thank you very much.
Over fences fails:
We started basically with a half circle over the second jump of our outside line (left lead canter). First time through it was fine, but I didn’t quite see the spot and… yeah. No, incorrect. I saw the spot, I just failed to do anything about it. second time through I thankfully chose to ride and moved Ranger up and success, lovely forward fence. Life is lovely when I chose to ride.
Next up, same thing but the other lead and the other side. So, right lead canter half circle to the second fence of the other outside line. This time I actually rode to the jump, we had a perfect spot and…took down the top rail? Ranger failed to pick up his feet, convinced the fence was the same size as the other fence… So, we did it again and much better. Thank you Ranger…
From here we started to hit the point of failure. So, we started to with an inside single (right lead) around to our first jump. So, roll back. Except, the first time through I was so preoccupied with the fact that we landed on the wrong lead that I screwed up t he spot for the second fence and we launched over it and Ranger saved my butt (time number 1 of the day). Considering the fence had gone up, I owed him.
Second time, we did a simple change because we couldn’t seem to land correctly to save our lives and improved but….
We then did our other inside single around to the other jump on the outside. OMG. Holy saving my butt (mega save #2). Again, we screwed up the lead. We tried it again. Simple change, slightly better. Then we just had to land, canter around, and just did the last jump as a single and it was fine. The big issue was after the simple change, we just lost momentum. I could NOT get back the canter before and as a result, we never could get to the spot I saw and instead of chipping, Ranger decided to launch. I owed him BIG TIME.
Flat work part 2:
After failed jumping efforts due to lead issues, I was given the option to jump more or learn to do changes on him. My trainer basically is the lead change master. (She loves to take on horses just for lead changes). Me? I’m not great with changes. Subi had auto changes so I never actually learned how to do changes. I just basically set him up by staying balanced and he did them. Towards the end of his carrier, I did have to ask a little, but I can’t say I asked the right way. Or maybe I did, but not the way my current trainer may have wanted me to ask. Basically, I did use some hand. Other than Subi, the other horses I’ve ridden have pretty much had no changes or auto changes. So, yeah. And evidently if I wasn’t riding Ranger I’d be riding Forrest. Forrest is easy and perfect with Subi-like looks and changes, but… I don’t think I could ride him. He’s too much like Subi. I can’t. I just couldn’t. I don’t want to ride a Subi-like horse. I don’t want to ride someone that remind me of what I’m missing… No, no can do.
So, Ranger. His are “easy” just the case of getting used to balance and the right amount of speed. We mostly just worked on keeping my hands still and shifting my weight from center into left or right stirrup and kicking/adding leg/speed as I passed through the center of the ring. Each time we did eventually get it, but not at the right place. I need to give leg firmly ONCE rather than lots of little kicks. So, stuff to work on.
I did almost fall off once after getting the change and Ranger was quite proud of himself. The light was changing and the other trainer stepped/moved and decided to spook at her shadow in the light just because and ducked in violently. He was VERY proud of catching me off balance as he had JUST gotten the change. Thank you Ranger. I love you too.
Anyway, I slowly started to figure it out and despite a mini pity party (I mentioned that the kid riding him must be much better/stronger since I got to hear how she’s doing well with him with changes and all that blah, blah and my confidence has taken a hit….) but whatever. We all have those moments.
In the end, Ranger was most excited about treats. And turnout with his BFF Elliot. Yeah. OMG. Those guys…