Today was a busy day! And a very sore day. Ugh.. between running the other day, then having Roany drag me out of the stall, into the post, and then into the fence... then having Dan's blanket break a blood vessel in my finger, and then adjusting four... I was exhausted. But it was time for a jump lesson!
Beth decided that we would work on me today! Not Fleck... but holly torture! She said it, not me. ;) I was glad though. I really want to fix my duck feet when I jump. So we started off and after one set of jumps I told her that my stirrups were really rubbing on my stirrup rub and I apologized for not doing what she was asking as well. She said "I can fix that" and took my stirrups away! Doh. Well, I did give them up for Lent and I haven't been very good about it. But I'm SOOOO glad she did. That was totally what I needed.
She told me to ride with my legs forward! Almost forward to the point of kicking his shoulder if he tries to bulge with a shoulder. It was tough. The first 6 fences or so I was trying to hard or doing it not quite right because it hurt and was exhausting. Not hurt as in painful, just.. hurt as in I was using different muscles and having to work hard. But then I started gripping differently and not focusing on my heels and toes so much. I worked more on closing my cranial calf at the girth level. And that made it easier for me. :) Then Beth had me do "The clam!" hee hee... It was great. Basically "the clam" is to think about opening my knee angle by pushing my feet forward and then sliding my hip back (rather than lifting my butt so high out of the saddle). And I was able to do it!!! :) YAY! It really helped. And despite not having my stirrups and Fleck ROCKING it around those jumps, I was able to stay with him and balanced and didn't have to use my hands. In fact, my release was better. :) Whoo hooo.
Fleck was having a ball too. He seriously felt awesome and was having a blast! He was taking me to the fences and a few times even lengthened his stride out like a beast! Easy boy, easy! I just need to remember to balance him with the outside rein in the turns AND INSIDE LEG!! And when tracking right, I tend to keep him too much counter balanced and thus he can't get his lead changes. But if I bend him right, he changes his lead easily. :) I also need to remember to close my left leg and prevent that horrible left drift. It was pretty bad today!
Whooo hoooo!!! Fleck is really feeling awesome lately. And I"m getting it :) :) I'm so excited!