The beginning of the weekend this past weekend didn’t hit me until about 8:30 Friday night while I cleaned my bridle. Weekend mode beats job mode! My whole attitude changes and I move way more slowly. I ain’t gotta be anywhere, so why rush?
Saturday morning Eli & I got to school a little bit along with one other amateur who leases a horse she’ll be showing in jumpers soon. She and her horse had a brilliant school! Eli exhibited a saintly level of tolerance during our first course while I got completely in his way at almost every jump. He doesn’t go fast but his stride is plenty big, so I get fooled in to thinking we need to move up and consequently bury him under the jump. Video evidence below at the Swedish. My cameraman stopped filming after about the 4th jump because I rode so gawd-awfully. He said, “You don’t need to see that. You already lived it.” I couldn’t help but laugh! So true.
My coach was not impressed. After some well-deserved chewing out, along with praising Eli for jumping regardless, I tried to get my head on straight.
Course number two was MUCH better.
Eli’s playing and fussing in the turns doesn’t bother me much because he keeps on pace. Considering he used to bolt and buck after every jump, a little playing and head-tossing is minor. I realize that at some point that lack of lead change has to change, because cross-cantering to a jump is just gross, and it will bite us on timed rounds. But I’m not going to pick a fight about it during a course. It’s something I have to help him with by doing flat work exercises like counter-canter and simple changes. I did remember at most of the jumps to ask for the lead in the air, but I am not consistent. I’ve got some serious flat work/cavaletti homework to do this week to work on landing on the lead I want. However, he stayed in hand, in front of my leg, and we kept a more compressed stride–much easier to jump out of that. And that stupid two-stride is set sooooo short. If it’s still up next Saturday, I’m going to open it up 2 or 3 feet.
Sunday morning Conrad and I had such a lovely walk! We walk in a park in the neighborhood.
Because Eli campaigned so successfully for beatification on Saturday, and because it was oppressively tropical outside by 9:30, I decided he deserved a leisurely walk, too, and a bubble bath. He’ll get a break from the tack on Monday as usual, then we’ll work over poles Tuesday.