If it doesn't go like planned... do what your trainer told you to do!!! ha ha.... Yep.. that would be todays theme!
Christina had to go do some chiropractic work at Wishing Tree so Fleck and I hitched a ride. :) Christina jumped first and did awesome!!! Beth decided that the exercise she had Christina do would be an excellent one for helping me with our left drift, so... we did the same thing. She set up two jumps... an oxer and a vertical in the middle of the ring but parallel to the long side rather than perpendicular. In other words... it was a short approach off the rail. They were set about 30 meters apart from each other. We started off by jumping and working on STRAIGHT!! No left drift. I was trying to remember to ride the landing, but it's hard for me. I get so focused on the take off and just.. don't ride the landing! But I worked on it and made progress. I had to get the right canter first... My "startbox" canter! And that totally works for me. Powerful, bouncy, tigger, and go! Then I had to ride my turn. I was doing a good square turn and getting his shoulders around to the vertical, but almost overshooting it. This tends to be a trend for me. Sigh... But to the oxer I was coming off the rail too soon and making it an arc. Beth said that was cheating! ;) So she told me to counter bend him a bit on the rail and then make my turn. I was over counter bending him and not giving him a chance to see the fence well enough. So when I did that, it helped. But then I was still getting a left drift, so I had to fix that. Once we got that nailed down, she upped the fences and we managed to screw it all up. I kept getting there at the half stride. I was not getting the right canter and then letting him lengthen a bit and go past his distance. So I fixed that and then he was rocking and rolling. Oh, and.. the left drift turned into a right drift. Argh... He's like a ping pong. I closed the left door, so he bounced right. Beth said to focus on keeping him straight/upright! All four legs under the table. If he pings to the right because I'm closing the left door.. it's my responsibility to also close the right door. So we did manage to get upright. Hmm... sounds a lot like my dressage lessons too! Ha! But you know what?! I'm actually figuring out how to get a straight upright horse!
I thought we were done and asked how to work on this at home. Because I really think that's my problem with combinations... I don't hold a line. I'm "willy nilly" and don't HOLD THAT LINE! We drift, we weave, and we end up NOT on my original plan of attack. So..Beth said to set up stuff like this at home. And then I asked about skinny's like barrels. And she said "You read my mind" and pulled out the barrels. Drats. ;) She at least put up wings for me. And sure enough... we jumped it all crooked and to the left. I counter bent him but he popped that shoulder out anyways. And he lengthened as we got closer to it and I let him. So... I rode him like Nike. Start box canter... bouncy, powerful, and NOT lengthening. And he jumped it awesome!!
So then we did the barrel to the oxer to the barrel. And she set the oxer up to about 3'11" with a 6 foot spread. She told me to ride it exactly like the barrel and she promised he would jump it awesome. AND.... I pictured a barrel under it and.. sure enough, he pretty much did. I screwed it up the second time, but I managed to fix it and he rocked it a few more times. We even got some serious hang time. He's awesome....
Then we were done and I picked up the reins to walk out of the ring and he broke into a trot! Let's go! That boy feels GOOD!!!!! And oh that makes my heart and soul so happy!
He and Sham got to hang out while Christina finished up and then we headed home. Man I love my pony!!!!