Had a good lesson last night. On Saturday I picked up my tall boots from the cobblers from getting the zipper fixed, and since then I’ve been complaining about them almost non-stop and feeling like I can’t ride at all with this slick concrete boot on my lower leg. Asked my trainer if I could potentially show in half chaps at the show, and she wasn’t impressed haha. The good news is that by the end of the lesson I felt like I was riding somewhat normally in them, and with a ride every day until the show I’ll probably be fine. Tall boot crisis averted once again.
Last night we worked on courses, and I realized that I am having to change my feel when jumping Simon. This is not something new though, we’ve gone through several different phases of feel when jumping.
When we first started, I wanted sloooooooooow. Like double ad slow. Our feel was basically trantering over 18″. Amaze balls, but not really good for the hunters.
Then after our first show, my trainer got on me for going too slow. I had it in my mind that we needed to get the strides, but our canter wasn’t strong enough to really support this. That ended up in some kind of “go whatever pace you feel like Simon” feel where I pretty much just lined him up and stayed still to the jump. We had some pretty spots, and others that were awful.
Now with my new trainer, the current mantra is “let’s get him to go slow, because we always know we can speed him up.” It’s not the crawling pace that I started off with, but instead properly adding or occasionally doing the stride if the lines are perhaps a bit shorter. The difference is that I am in control and I choose what we’re doing, not him.
When we first start jumping, he likes to drag me to the fence. Over smaller stuff, I’m doing better at staying up and waiting and making him listen to me. It’s not always perfect, but it’s getting better. The more we jump, the more he listens – which is a good thing! Once he’s listening I just need to remember to dial back my corrections. Last night on our second course, Simon was much more “with” me however I was still whoaing like he wasn’t which led to some chipping that I could have avoided if I rode better.
All in all feeling better about the show Saturday. Right now I’m trying to decide between the kiddy 2’0″ division and the much less kiddy 2’3″ division that’s in the bigger ring. I think we’d be fine surviving the bigger ring, but I kind of want to go and make the show more than just surviving. We probably won’t pin in a division of 20+, but I think I’d like to go give it my best effort to have a smooth round rather than just “get over the jumps.” What do y’all think?