So we finally got a lesson in! I trailered over to Equiventure this morning, where Holly trains, so it was even more meaningful because we were able to get off property. Foster tends to travel really well, and was much more interested in eating grass than looking about. But when we got to the arena he found another gear that I haven’t felt in some time!
While I won’t bore you with all the details, I did have some great take-aways:
- I have a tendency to bend him to the left over fences, as well as turn my head to the left, which causes him to travel through his right shoulder and occasionally jump over the shoulder. I need to focus on riding him straight through his neck and body and look straight ahead!!
- It is okay to let Foster move out a bit. More forward and more energy is not something I should be afraid of!
- Don’t hit him with my butt! This one I was somewhat aware of going into it, as I’ve seen it on some of the videos taken of us recently. I need to stay in the air just a beat longer so I don’t punish him by ‘landing’ before he does.
- For practicing at home we are going to take 3′ off of the distances, but know and be prepared for shows setting up strides different ways. Even if they use the 12′ stride + 6′ takeoff/landing, the adrenaline should get us moving through it fine.
- For combinations, land, sit up, stay quiet, and let the fence come to you
There’s definitely a few other pointers I picked up but these are the highlights! Overall I think I have plenty to work on, and am really proud of my boy for being so workmanlike. We both had a great time; I knew Foster was having fun because he was giving me great walk/canter transitions with a little fun head toss every once in a while.
Next week is our XC schooling at a huge farm in Southern Pines. So stay posted for that and maybe even a jumping photoshoot at home this weekend!