I have been waiting for some warmer weather and days that are lighter longer to start jump lessons again. That time is here. I have missed riding with our instructor, I really, really enjoy her lessons, actually, thinking about it, she is my favorite to jump with so far, like, ever.
We had a lesson Monday night and it was awesome. I was excited to show her the improvements we have been working on this winter. She put us to work like usual. Part of why I like her so much is she ALWAYS has creative things for us to ride. She always has gymnastics, skinnies, things in tight spots, jumps with a lot to look at, tight turns, you name it. I love it because it broadens all of our mental and physical skills. And true to form, she had a xc corner in the ring Monday night.
We worked on getting Klein a bit more in tune to locking onto the stadium jumps. She said she knows how forward Klein is out on xc and said we need to channel some of that energy for stadium. She told me to try posting the canter around the course to help Klein maybe move out just a bit more. It worked. I'm going to add that in to our warm ups before stadium or xc schools as a kind of transition cue for her, as well as use it on course in stadium. She has no problem galloping like she's on the attack of anything I point her at on xc and she needs to have a little bit more of that mindset in the stadium ring, posting the canter seems to help that out by getting her slightly more forward with out messing with the quality of her canter, which is great right now.
Eventually the corner was added in with some stadium fences. One thing I'm still a work in progress with is counting to and between fences. I would say I'm 70% consistent, aka not good enough. Liv immediately caught me not counting and therefore getting four where I should have been getting three from a skinny to the corner. Sometimes I just have so much fun, counting just flies right out of my head. Here is how important I know it is, and what a priority I've made it to get better, I wrote "COUNT!" on Klein's breast collar. See...
When I count, I'm a lot more accurate (duh) and see almost all of my distances (gee, imagine that). I also got a great lesson on how to ride a corner properly. I did get Klein to a couple odd spots approaching that corner because of the fence we were heading to next, and I was making my turn a little too tight for it to put us in the perfect spot. When there was an oxer on the other side of it I wasn't focusing on that next jump enough to put Klein where she should be. Liv explained it a bit more, we made our turn to it a lot bigger, locked onto the oxer AFTER it and nailed it.
Approaching it like this just makes your life harder if your next fence is that white oxer in the left corner of the picture. By making our turn wider and approaching it like we were lined up as if the front face was a vertical, we nailed it.
This lesson also helped us adjust our approaches from stadium to xc and back. There is a derby next month that I'm going to enter us in because I think that will be a great place for us to put those skills to work, and it will just be fun. Unfortunately it only goes up to Novice, so, we'll enter at that. I REALLY wish it was Training, but there should be another one at a different venue this summer that will have Training, and we'll hit that one too.
One thing I also really like about Liv is that she makes sure the horse AND the rider are holding up their end of the deal. If I try to make an excuse for Klein doing something and blame myself, she'll make sure I realize that I could improve by holding Klein just a little more accountable. It's a fine line for sure, but Liv always sees it and points it out, and I'm appreciative for that too because to me, Klein walks on water, everyone knows that. Just ask The Other Half, he'll tell you how high Klein's pedestal is, because he reminds me every time I put her on it or make it higher. But, give me a break, because he also calls her The Princess.
Here are a couple videos with the corner:
We school xc this weekend. This lesson was a great prep for a solid Training level school this weekend. I'm already super excited for next's week lesson too!