Despite me perhaps not working super hard between lessons, the lesson I had on Wednesday was a great one.
Not as great as the one last week, where we did 2 stride combinations over and over, and not only did P not stop at anything, HE DIDN’T CHIP ONCE. It was a miracle, I tell you. Even when Trainer B stuck the fences up to 3’3″, we didn’t chip. It was so awesome. We’re the stars of the 2 stride now.
Naturally, I have zero media of that lesson. So after we filmed the last contest video, I drug Husband off to my lesson with me to video.
Sidenote: We didn’t win! Boo. Asmar direct messaged me on IG and said that while they loved Husband’s video best of all, they couldn’t let us win 3 months in a row. They asked me a bunch of questions and are going to feature it in an “e-blast.” They’re a great company (with obviously a great sense of humor), and I’ll be doing some reviews of the clothing we won soon.
Ok, back to the action at hand.
We spent the first half hour or so working on the flat. Trainer B is a wizard over fences for sure, but he’s definitely no slouch in the dressage arena either.
P is a pretty stiff horse, and I struggle with suppling him. But he’s also a stubborn lil guy and can be so resistant that I end up second guessing what I do, so then don’t do anything at all. Because that’s always the solution, right? So Trainer B had us w/t/c while flexing him to the right and left using my hand and leg, and moving the saddle around (not really, it was just the imagery used) with my seatbones to loosen him up.
Particularly in the right lead canter, P zoomed around with his head in the air and his jaw locked, and it took 3 laps for him to soften. Trainer B said to think of it like he’s got to go through the dark side to get to the light, so just because it’s not working right away, doesn’t mean I’m not asking correctly. And that each time we work on it, we’ll be stuck in the dark side for less and less time.
And then, “Well, we rarely have a triple in the arena. But here it is, so let’s do it.”
P has not always been a fan of the yellow jump- and is never a fan of when jumps are cross-rail/vertical mixes, so he had us cut in and just do the yellow one twice. P accelerated towards it and I thought, yeah! We got this.
Now, I really can’t tell you what the problem was. Trainer B said the blue jump is spooky and sure, I guess so, but P gave no indication that was the problem. My guess is that he saw that there was yet ANOTHER jump after the blue and panicked. Combinations aren’t our thing, they never have been.
For example, in our SJ round 2 weeks ago, look at how he stops at this boring, plain vertical- it was the jump into the one-stride. He’d just jumped the other 4 jumps super boldly.
And then we reapproach, and he still comes to it way insecurely.
The week before, at the great-lesson-of-which-I-have-no-media, P jumped spookier, and much bigger fences, with zero stops. I think after jumping the yellow super boldly, he saw there were two more fences and shut down. So I’m betting it has less to do with the actual fences, and more about his own confidence in combinations. I’m still not 100% confident in them either, thanks to our history, so we definitely feed off each other there.
But we eventually got through it, albeit, not very prettily. That’s what lessons are for, right? RIGHT?!
Then he sent us through the one stride, and then around to the triple the opposite way. If you have the sound on you’ll hear, “She’s not going slow anymore, that’s good.” SCORE! Self-high five.
And then one final time to boost P’s confidence. And it was pretty perfect. P likes to land and then zoom off around turns, so we worked on softening him after the jumps and having nicer downward transitions, which we nailed.
So guess who’s going to set up a new gymnastic every week to help with our collective confidence? Send me your favorites