It's been a while since I've had to opportunity to get together with Coach *and* the Fancy Pony.
I was stoked for my lesson!
I knew what I wanted to work on. So, when Coach asked me, I didn't have to think about it!
I wanted to land on a particular lead ON PURPOSE.
So, Coach set up the most adorable mini hunter course, and we started with the basics.
"Count the last 3 strides to the fence out load. See the distance."
Oh, yeah. I knew about that! I'm going to get good at this!!
Once, I mis-counted really bad. I mean, I was saying "one" as she taking off over the fence... Oops!
At least I wasn't jumping ahead of her, right?
It turned out that as I was counting and riding all the way to the fence, we pretty much landed on the lead I wanted as if by magic!
Coach and I talked about what I was already doing with my body to help the outcome and what I could do if I find myself in a situation where she needs a little extra help... Along with typical mistakes I should try to avoid!
One of the things I really like about Coach is how she starts out with something like:
"This course is set at 2'3", except for that fence, which I set at 2'6"."
Then, as you're working, or taking a walk break, you don't even notice that she is raising the jumps.
And while you talk about wanting to do the entire course at 2'6" because your Fancy Pony isn't even thinking about it, she puts several of them up to 2'9" just because.
That Fancy Pony just ate up those 2'9" jumps like they were anything else.
I just wanted to explode with glee when Coach told me that the Fancy Pony looked 100 times more confident over fences and how wonderful her condition looked!
Bonus for the ride...
As the fences got bigger, Whisper's jump got bigger. We got a touch more hang time. And I would sometimes fall on her neck a little. I'm sure part of that is me trying to give my hands enough to give her plenty of room to use her head. I'm sure the rest of it is my continually developing core and not riding still enough.
So, Coach said, "Try to sit up more as you land to keep from falling on her neck!"
In my mind, I didn't think about the plumb line pulling out of the top of my head, or even straightening my back...
I imagined that I lifted my inside arm straight up as my own body crossed over the rail.
Apparently that visual puts exactly the right amount of "uprightness" into my landing, because it felt incredible and balanced!
I'm looking forward to this weekend's Sport Horse show!!