We shared a lesson Sarah and her lovely mare Juliet down at Rockrose 8-9 last night. We regularly share with them which is great as they are aiming at more advanced classes than us so helps us to be challenged.
We warmed up quickly so as to make the most of the hour. We worked on 10m canter circles which are something we don’t do at home - I’m always so worried about slipping on our woodchip surface but I think I need to be a bit braver and practice them as we both struggled. It’s hard for C as he is so on the forehand but that just highlights why we need to do it! I’ll be adding it into out canter days!
We then popped a couple of warm up jumps and then moved onto an exercise which was almost like a 15m canter figure of eight with a little jump on the change of rein. It was difficult but very useful. Trying to keep a steady pace and not rush or override to keep on the circle. We moved on to practice the same thing with slightly bigger jumps on a larger circle. Louisa said I need to use my upper body to control the speed, making sure I sit up all the way into the jump so as not to rush him and push for too large a stride.
We finished with some very scary skinny XC jumps – just what we needed to practice. We started with a wishing well – there were wings at the side to help the horses understand what they were to do. It was on a straight line and we had no problems thankfully. We worked on locking onto a point in the distance and ride the same quiet canter as used in the previous exercise. We then finished on a brush arrowhead – it was on the diagonal line which I found harder. It was also very pointed at the bottom which make it harder again! Our first attempt was good, we got over well and I was super pleased. Second time I must have relaxed a little too much and wasn’t on the right line, C slowed, then tried to jump it as he is so honest sand ended up sliding through the brush. This probably would have been fine if the jump was pinned to the ground as it would outside on a XC course – inside it just ended up rolled over with us which was a little frightening but C looked after us and got his legs out of the way. As we couldn’t finish like that we came round again – I was very nervous and went on a rubbish line again – fortunately wee C took over and popped over it. He is a very clever and brave pony!
I have lots to work on at home and definitely need lots more practice at the arrowhead fences!! Super lesson and well worth the late night. I didn’t get any action shots but I did take one of the nemesis arrowhead at the end of the lesson! Photos below.