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Repetition

Friday I headed to Trainer B’s with some mishaps from the week on my mind. So when he asked the usual question about how P was this week, I was all, “How do I choose which of my horrible habits to present?”

Here, Trainer B. Here’s all of them.

  1. It’s super hard for me to sit the canter to the right. It’s P’s stiffer way and he’s really bad about putting ALL of his weight on his front right. So much weight you can practically see his left hind peddling in the air.
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How turning right feels on P

2. I can’t stop micromanaging P to fences. If we’re 3-4 strides away and I see that we’re not going to meet the fence perfectly, I pick at him. I think back all the time to the Clayton Fredericks clinic I audited this past January, where he said if the distance is wrong you have two options: push or wait. Never pull, because if you pull going into the fence and it doesn’t go well, the horse blames you for it. Nevertheless, I’m fiddling with his face nonstop.

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3. I sit too long before fences, get left behind, and in an attempt to “catch-up,” I pinch with my knee, which swings my lower leg back and tips me forward. This is the opposite problem that I used to have- where I’d lean at every fence, but P stopping really taught me to not to trust that we’re leaving the ground until we’re in the air.

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Me fixing one problem by creating another 

So we started with the canter. And the fix is, uhh, awkward. I have to sit back and waaaay to the left. Like, ridiculously to the left, while keeping my right leg on for bend, left leg behind the girth, and open left rein as if I’m leg-yielding. OMG so awkward. We worked on that for a bit, and I get to do that every time I canter. Fun.

Next he addressed both jumping issues with one exercise. He put a ground pole down 42 ft away from a jump that P has jumped many, many times before, to make it 3 strides from the pole to the jump. Then he had me get in half seat and practice getting P’s hip angle further underneath him and his shoulders elevated, and then keeping that around the corner until we reached the pole. When we went over the pole, I had to give a little tap with my legs and soften, to sorta “slingshot” P forward over the jump.

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Once we had done that a couple times and it was clear P was going to jump, we worked on me. I did all of the above, and then thought of keeping my knees soft, shoving my feet forward and keeping my chest and head up.

But it was great, and it’s an exercise that’s easy to set up at home.

So we only have to do this a million more times, give or take a few.

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Saturday I headed to a local jumper show to put all this into practice. My plan going in had been to use the 2’6″ as a warm-up (yes, really), then go into 2’9″, 3’0″, and, if those went well, 3’3″.

The website said the show started at 1, and 2’6″ was class #9, so we pulled in at 12:45…and they were already on class 3 after starting at 12:30.

I had this moment of panic when I realized they were about to start 2’3″ and thought maybe I should go in to let P see the jumps. But I didn’t, and stayed with my plan to use 2’6″ as our warm-up.

And…it was fine.

He felt like he hesitated when I got him straight to 7 and he saw both jumps, but when I saw the video I think he just chipped in vs thought about stopping. And he’s clearly unimpressed by 2’6″. So unlike last year when we couldn’t make it around a 2’6″ course for anything.

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So boring. Zero effort required. 

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So we had awhile to go, since there were a bunch of other riders, and I hopped off P to let him graze while I talked to BO, who had come along to help and take videos (hooray for great friends who understand the importance of media). Then one of the volunteers came over to where we were standing and handed me a blue ribbon. I asked if they were done with 2’6″ and he said yeah, so I headed to the counter to add 2’9″. The lady looked a little crestfallen and said there were no entries, so they were going to conclude the show. I said, “Ok, so I can’t go in then?” and she said, “Well, can you help us raise the fences since you’re the only entry?” Uhhh, sure.

So I did, then hopped on P, trotted him in a circle and we headed in.

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He felt awesome, and I so badly wanted to see if we could raise them to 3′, but when I headed out the gate, the volunteer handed me my blue ribbon (since I was the only one) and walked in the opposite direction. So I rode to the counter and before I could even say anything, the woman told me she had filled my check out for $40 (I had left an open check so I could add classes), and asked me if she could get my number from me. Okkkkk then, guess we’re done.

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It was still fun, though. To put it like Michael Jung, P “gave me a great feeling,” and I couldn’t have asked for more.

Even better, I feel like I really used all that we worked on the day before in the rounds, and even when things didn’t go perfectly, I was able to let P sort it out rather than start meddling. Sort of a crucial quality in an event horse, no?

Though I made the mistake of posting the pictures/videos on FB and quickly earned myself a comment from Trainer B, noting that Novice was 2’11”. Hey- I wanted to go in the higher classes!

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My lil champion earned lots of admiring comments from spectators and other competitors

26 thoughts on “Repetition”

  1. Trainer B trolling you on FB is my new favorite thing 🙂 Also, where is the teal? You are all dark and gloomy in black!!! Being boring with color is more my thing…you and P usually rock out the bright cheerful teal!!

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    1. Bahaha, I got a few texts from people who screenshot it and sent it to me-I SAW IT 😂 Told BO I should’ve just put that we did the 3’ division 😂

      We had to be out of the house at like 0 dark thirty for a friend’s daughter’s graduation, so I grabbed the first things I saw. Totally regretted that when I realized I had grabbed a black shirt to show at 1 PM in 🤦‍♀️

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  2. holy cow look at you being disappointed they cancelled the big boy jumps 😉 HA who are you and what have you done with KC 🙂 Glad that your lesson with Trainer B was so productive. Just think if we did everything right how boring it would be HA 🙂

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    1. Hahaha right?! Next time I’m sure we can even skip the 2’6”- P was sooo bored.

      And ya, lessons would be pointless if we were already great…sometimes I wish there wasn’t SO much stuff to work on, though 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done to you both! But serious bummer about the show ending so fast/making you help/cutting out subsequent classes. I’m sure y’all would have rocked them.

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  4. lol yup those 2’9 fences definitely look like a breeze to P 😉 what a great feeling!! congrats on laying down some great confidence building courses despite show organizers cutting out early!

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  5. Pretty bummed that you didn’t get to do the 3′ because the 2’9″ looked way too easy. 😉 He seems to much happier and comfortable in this work. It must be a great feeling.

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  6. I love that you quoted Michael Jung. lol
    Also, I feel bad for these places that put on shows and no one shows up. Like, I gte that the lower classes always have more people, but really, they couldn’t have enough people to do 2’11? So sad.
    Glad you and P rocked it! He’s becoming quite the solid citizen!!

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    1. Ha, he always says that!!

      They held a CT that morning, then do jumpers in the afternoon and the CT was much more full than jumpers- probably people trying to beat the heat here in NC. Usually the jumper shows are quite packed, though yeah, mostly at the lower levels.

      I should’ve just gone from 2’6” to 3’ but didn’t realize they would be so opposed to staying an extra few minutes!

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  7. Dang!!! Look at you snooze around 2’9”!!! That was so easy 🙂 I know you wanted to do 3’ but just going to the show and cantering around 2’9” like it was 2’ is pretty damn awesome!!!!! And cracking up that they basically closed you out so they could be done 😂 Here you go, go away, thank you for coming, now LEAVE (politely, sort of) 😂😂😂😂😂

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    1. Right, didn’t he look so bored? 😂 Even though we would’ve done the higher classes if we’d be able to, I don’t think they would’ve been necessary- he’s clearly ok with whatever.

      The lady there is usually so nice to me, too! She wasn’t mean, but definitely annoyed that I wanted to enter another class. But they made $20 for under 2 minutes so c’mon! 😂😂

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      1. Exactly! They should be thanking you for your $20 😉 Though if it was as hot there as it was here yesterday I don’t think I blame them for wanting to end early!!!! I was melting!!!

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  8. I love being able to work on something right after a lesson and still see results. It really gives me such a good feeling.

    P is totally unimpressed by the jumps. 2’6 and 2’9 is really nothing to him now. I was thinking that his canter looked really consistent while you were going around the course. It felt like he was just having another day out and wasn’t worried about anything. Congrats on the blues!

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    1. Ha, I saw the videos after and thought they looked like the most boring hunter rounds ever.

      I have a hard time judging pace on him. In stadium I think I’m booking it (in the 2’9” I really thought we were zooming 😂) and then I see it and we’re so slow. On XC I think we’re going at a decent pace and then we end up with the fastest time of the field, close to getting speed faults. I can’t win!

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      1. Pace is one of the hardest things to get down. But given your history, a few boring hunter rounds probably aren’t a bad thing. You get practice and can think more between jumps.

        Liked by 1 person

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