I had what wound up being an interesting lesson on Saturday. Everything was going great until I made a mistake, and then things just went downhill and then went back uphill but not quite to where we were in the beginning. I am still calling it a win because ALMOST everything was good. Even though I made a huge mistake which then pissed off Eli, and to complicate the issue he got distracted by a trailer backing up outside of the arena, we still managed to end on a positive and well-organized note.
We warmed up over a low vertical, trotted in and cantered out of a diagonal line, and rode through the 2-stride-to-3-stride combination. Basically, pieces of a course to start with. We then put a whole course together.
Everything rode really well. Eli was relaxed and soft, and I was riding with my head in the right place. Until the last fence. The first diagonal line rode as a 6-stride line. I dumbly assumed the other diagonal line was also a 6. I realized halfway into the line it looked too long to be a 6, although I am pretty sure I could have galloped up to that distance and made it. Or obviously, I could have settled and held Eli off just a bit and done the 7. Instead, I did nothing. 6.5 strides is ugly, and Eli was not happy about that.
My trainer asked me to take a single to the 7-stride line. The single rode great. I pulled a bit too much to the first fence and Eli landed hopping and tossing his head, indication number one he is irritated with me. Trainer said do it again. Single rode fine, but coming around to the line Eli started hopping and tossing his head before the first fence. He is now anticipating my pulling, and he’s “yelling” at me to stop it. Trainer said again, but this time to add to my ineptitude, right off the corner we needed to get through to get to the line, someone was backing up a trailer in the parking lot. Eli didn’t mind how it looked, but once he turned away from it out of the corner, he spooked at the sound.
At this point, trainer and I agreed that Eli and I needed to just canter a few circles to get past the situation mentally. And then I asked if we could trot in and canter out of the line. I trotted a circle, walked in the corner, and picked up a trot, cantering out of the line in an organized and relatively quiet fashion.
6 fences out of 8 ain’t bad? Oh, horses.
I also have a standing martingale for sale for $20 and a breastplate for $15. Both horse/full size, in good schooling condition.
I’ll take the brass tags off before shipping. Free shipping in continental US.