I am so happy:) I am the luckiest girl in the world to have my little muffin man. My boss (Janet) trains and deals with 6 figure horses every day. She actually LIKES my horse. I know for a fact she does, because I've seen her deal with ship in clients where she DOESN'T like the horse. She says he's a "neat little horse!" We discussed his way of going a bunch today. I worked for probably a year and a half on NO contact. I've read back in my blog where I did the loose rein/one rein stop schools. It took me a long time to get him to where I COULD actually ride him with a consistent rhythm and no contact. Janet says some trainers really do believe that philosophy, but she doesn't because it just takes too long.
I made my usual mistake of wiggling my reins back and forth. I didn't post a million miles an hour, but I was still too fast. I was using some of my dressage feedback, and posting higher to help regulate my pace. Janet had me soften up and post lower. Lol. Multi-discipline/Multi-trainer lessons CAN be a challenge, lol! Pitfall of being bound and determined to do this thing MYSELF and not rely on anyone to call my actual "trainer". Vowed to slow myself down and get him where I had him with Gigi last week. Got him there, and then Janet had me get him "3 notches lower" so he could just relax and release his back. It took me about half an hour, but I finally got him there ... on my own:) I actually used my leg effectively, and because I was maintaining a more consistent connection thanks to my Gigi lesson, he kept a great rhythm.
The trot right before my canter work was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. He was in a low, slow, ground covering trot, and it was LIGHT. WOW!!:) My canter work was GREAT. He felt much softer than he had during the dressage lesson, weirdly enough. My transitions were decent; Janet was having me work on keeping his topline round during the transition itself, which as y'all know, I've been working on for infinity;) I did an ok job, yay!
FINALLY got to jump around in the big ring! Haven't jumped around there since the lesson I took right before my horse trial in October. We warmed up over a box/gate set at 2'3. Cantered in on each lead, just working on consistency. Missed a few times, and Janet gave me some feedback. Did a little course of inside single oxer, outside line, inside single oxer set around 2'9. I specifically said how much I hated square oxers, especially ones over 2'6. He jumped the SNOT out of the jumps the first time through, lol! Janet wanted me to work on his rideability between the jumps. He was a little bit wild! Big, open ring, he was like WOO HOO!!! Also, I was sitting lightly vs. sitting down. After a little bit of experimenting, Janet determined she likes me best sitting to the jump. Keeps him the most organized and relaxed. She also gave me some great advice; don't let the "voices" in my head cause me to overanalyze. JUST RIDE, AND MAKE A DECISION. So, on my last time through, I moved up to the first oxer, nailed the line coming in, made sure I got the "step" (AND it wasn't too fast, yippee!), and rode a little deep spot to the final oxer, but all were good because I sat up and rode for each spot.
All in all, a GREAT day:) LOVE my boy! He is the bee's knees. No matter what the content of my lessons are, I always get something out of them to go home and work on. Lots and lots of tools for the toolbox:)