We had a dressage lesson a few weeks ago that was very basic and simple but really helped him relax into his flat work. We had some awesome dressage schools leading up to our jump clinic and although he hadn’t jumped much since coming back from his injury I thought we would be fine.
Day 1 was flat work. It took him about 20 minutes to settle into it but we actually got some nice work in and had some awesome canters! ES emphasizes forward (the horse taking you not youbising your legs every stride), straight, and regular. With straight meaning hind quarters following the shoulders, following the poll, on any line you choose. He has a man of keeping things as simple as possible while getting the most out of your horse. Something we should all strive to do! He definitely shows us how much we over think things.
Day 2 was stadium jumping. This is where I learned the most about my horse. Because the group lessons were 1.5 hours I didn’t warm up (more then a 10 minutes walk) on my own before. Getting he flat work before jumping is obviously important with every horse but particularly with this one. Unfortunately, because it’s a group, you just have to get going with the rest of them and I hadn’t gotten to chance to even canter before we started a pole exercise that quickly turned into a jumping exercise. The jumps were always fine but the inbetween was not fun. Easily the worst jump ride we have ever had. He was very strong, ripping the reins out of my hands, etc. It was so not fun. So much so that he even asked to get on Bentley at the end. He very, very rarely ever gets on horses at clinics! He went back and did some flat work (what we had needed to do) and made some progress before calling it a day.
Day 3 was XC day. To day I was dreading it would have been a fair statement. He had only been out XC once since Rebecca Farms (in July) so I knew he would be prettt hot out there already. He was again strong, ripping my reins away, flipping his head, and had an extreme lack of brakes. Not exactly the ride you want to have. Especially since we had a super jump lesson with our normal trainer the week prior. By the end he was slightly more rideable and his terrible behaviors became less and less but I, unfortunately, left thinking I had over faced my horse too much with the group situation and feared I had just set us back. It’s not that he didn’t jump things, or even that he didn’t jump things well, it was just his over all mental state. He actually jumped things quite well and did some hard things that he hadn’t done before such as:
Training log bending to novice coop
Training chevron to an angled novice roll top
There was a professional photographer there so hopefully she caught some good moments! When we were in the air it all felt great 😉 Back to the drawing board. We have a long winter of dressage and pole work ahead of us 😳😃