I had a relatively quiet weekend–honestly, I had only ridden Eli on Tuesday and Friday of last week, so I thought he might be a handful for Saturday’s lesson.
Nope! Not at all. He offered no shenanigans and saved our asses twice. I am thinking this horse is officially well-schooled at this point. Still a sass monster, but also forgiving when it comes to my (often grave) mistakes over fences. Most of the lesson went really well from my end of things. But for one of the trips around a few fences, I trotted in and cantered out of a line that would normally be six strides if you are trotting in. I had already cantered through it in the five strides. Around stride two after trotting in, my brain suddenly forgot we trotted in and I was like, wow why is this five such a struggle, we won’t get there?!?! Hate you sometimes, brain. So I jammed Eli into a 5 1/2 distance and promptly remembered once it was too late that, oh yeah, we had trotted in. EVEN BETTER, for the next fence on course, I decided to chase the gap, jumped ahead, and Eli was all, NO, cookie lady and he chipped in rather than take what would have been a dangerous distance had the fence been any higher. Thank you for telling me to shut up, Eli.
Lesson learned. Next time through, I rode a patient six and WAITED for the distance at the skinny where I tried to kill us before, and Eli nailed a lovely jump at every effort. It would have been a good lesson on film, although I have no media. Sad face. After that time through, though, my trainer had us stop because, her words, she likes to end early if the horse performs perfectly, as a reward. Plus Eli landed every single lead, too! He is loving his new hunter lifestyle, I think. My trainer and I talked about how he seemed to really enjoy the methodical process of putting together a hunter course–more straight lines, big turns, even pace. It’s tough for me to wrap my brain around still, but ultimately will be good for me as a rider to get us sorted for the hunter ring.
We had crazy storms Sunday morning, although not as crazy as last time. I was actually at the bran as they rolled through, and by lunchtime the sun was out again. Too wet to ride yesterday, but perhaps today with more sun the fields will be dry enough for me to catch a quick ride before sunset.