Friday 11 September 2015

Even More Notes

Another lesson, another page of lesson notes! I'm sorry this has been the only blog content of late, my time has been stretched lately at work and I'm doing this crazy thing where I don't have a home computer. My job is all computer, all day long and it seemed like a great idea. Surely I can check email and blog on my lunch break at work? Not so much. The reality is I still surf the internet and blog at home anyways, and am just wasting even more time attempting to do so from a very broken iPhone :) New computer is on the list of purchases next time we visit the city, until then you're stuck with pages of notes and weirdly formatted pictures!

So, you've been warned....I take no responsibility for the following post inducing boredom, blurred vision, or sleep.

Cute pony to wake you back up a little

Jumping Lesson #3 Notes (quoted from EC as best my memory can recall)

- "You are not showing this weekend to be competitive. You are there to show Bridget her job is the same in a new place as it is at home. You are there to prove to yourself you can ride just as well when you're nervous as you can when you're at home. Think of it like an exam - you are only being scored against yourself, and the more homework you do, the better it will go."

- "It doesn't matter what lead you get, just focus on a good rhythm."

- "Count your strides, regardless of where you are. For now it might be more that you feel the distances, but if you count, eventually you'll be able to rate them consistently."

- "Don't worry that it's not pretty. We'll do a ton of grids this winter and work on you both. For now, you are on a green, wiggly pony and you're new to this yourself and that's totally fine. You need to get her to the jumps, you need to stay centered over her, and you need to keep your weight in your heels and be a little defensive. She needs to get herself over the jumps. You're doing that, and that's great for now."

-"Its never going to be totally perfect. Don't stay home and wait for it to be perfect. If you could do this perfectly you'd be moving up to something more challenging. Get out there anyways."

- "Why do you think she stopped? Was it because you got flustered and were looking at the jump rather than riding your line?"

- "Make it your canter, not hers."

- "Hands forward and in front of you. Shorten your reins. I don't want to see your shoulders in front of your hands, ever!"

- "Circle if you need to. Trot if you need to. Even in a show. You won't get a ribbon, but you'll have had a great schooling opportunity and will both be better for it later"

-"She's starting to just canter over the jumps and is more relaxed about it. She's starting to get confident and understand her job, and that's going to make your job a lot easier!"

So, there you have it. We ran through a few courses, some good stuff happened, some not so good stuff happened, but mostly we got a pep talk for our first show. There were a few lines that felt great, and a couple that felt like I barely survived. A little oxer in particular had Midge pretty backed off and caused a few minor problems (like last minute space shuttle type launching) mostly due to lack of rider intervention. I think we both had fun though, for the most part Midge was pretty forward and pumped up.

Moving ahead, we're doing the crossrails and 2' hunters (lol at us ever being taken seriously as hunters - please just look away now, all you gorgeous riders on your elegant horses :) at the show this weekend. It's a very competitive and large-ish show for being a somewhat local one (the smaller heights have over 20 riders in each class), so I am not expecting nor aiming for any kind of ribbons - it really is only about a positive first show for us both and experience to put towards eventing one day. I'm still totally nervous and freaking out about it, so that's my big thing to get through this weekend.
Last minute attempt to tame the mane

Then, a dressage percent day two weekends from now. For that one, I am a little more aiming for a good mark, but we'll see. We will be riding Entry tests 1 & 2 and the right lead canter may cause us an issue.

After that, we put it all together for a 2 phase event in the big city in November. Again, although it does count for points, it's more of a schooling type show than a 'real one'. At this stage we are not expecting to be competitive, so are not aiming at any $$$$ shows. We are definitely wanting to get get some fun and educational miles under our belts though!



  1. It sounds like things are progressing smoothly and I like this trainer's attitude! It'll come together.

    As a side note, did I see a "For Sale" ad for Ginger on FB?!

    1. Yes, you probably did! Trainer has her advertised...we shall see if she finds a perfect person or whether the big mare comes home with me. No firm decisions have been made as of yet :)

    2. It's hilarious how I recognized her right away!!

    3. Because she's famous, of course :)

  2. Hope you get many pictures! Good luck and enjoy!

  3. Replies
    1. She always looks awkward in pictures, so I settle for taking lots of her cute nose :)

  4. Remember to breathe! Can't wait to hear about it :)

    1. LOL, exactly what EC was shouting at me in the warm up "Canter...more outside rein...BREATHE...look past the fence...BREATHE..." ha ha

  5. I love your list. It is a really nice reminder to 'chill' and get the job done. Oh and don't forget, have fun!
    I am known to get pretty worked up over... well.... any mistake that I know we should not be making. I need to make this list my mantra.

    1. I think she's seen a few people like me before...seriously she knows exactly what to say to help me keep it all in perspective.

  6. your trainer sounds wonderful - and i LOVE your very first bullet point in the notes (tho, quite frankly, each and every one of them are solid things that we should all be thinking about as riders). i love the way you're approaching the next few shows - you guys are gonna be great!

    1. We had a bit of a rough start, but I am so pleased with her coaching...the perfect blend of no nonsense, tell it how it is, and encouragement.