Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lesson Recap: When In Doubt, Do the Add

Lexie has a motor, and a solid stride for being a thick, curvalicious 16.1 Warmblood cross. My trainer H has really wanted to continue to help build my confidence over fences, and help Lexie continue to rock back onto her hind end for a more controlled - but still powerful- ride.

We set up a basic grid- trot in to a cross rail, 1-2 stride cross-rail to a 2-3 stride vertical. H wanted me to try to ride between fences as adds, but Lexie, per usual, had other plans. We consistently nailed the 2 stride between cross rails with both a trot and canter approach, but struggled getting the 3. We always seemed to end up with a wonky long(ish) spot. My issue continues to be that I see the spot, and goose Lexie to the fence where we get a long spot, and she explodes on the other side. The explosions are becoming more and more manageable. It used to take 1/4-1/2 of the ring to get her back, and now we're down to 3-4 quick, strung out strides, before she comes back nicely.

Seeing our struggles to the 3 stride, H took out the middle cross-rail and just let me ride the 4-5 stride cross-rail to vertical line. It rode beautifully. Easily the best ride I've had on Lexie since the Doug Payne clinic. A beautiful 5 stride line to a lovely ride on the other side. H raised the fence up to a solid 3' vertical, which, while nerve-wracking the first time, felt beautiful the second ride over it. It's so nice to see that the pieces are there, we just need to put them together. I can feel myself getting stronger every ride, and now it's more sore legs and abs than sore shoulder, meaning I'm riding leg to hand rather than all hands (which I have no doubt Lexie appreciates).

After a few successful jumps over the 5 stride line, I asked H if we could add in the cross-rail and drop the vertical to 2'6". I had the feeling of collection, and wanted to see if I could maintain it. We never really nailed the 3 stride distance because Lexie was on autopilot "It's a 2 stride, see you on the other side, lady!", but had a lovely right turn to a vertical our last time through.

A lot of my issues are strength, and anxiety related. I'm getting stronger, and able to more forcefully half-halt while backing up that half halt with my leg, but I'm still an anxious, "Get to the other side and get it over with" rider. I'm popping Lexie over small fences on some hack days just to get my confidence over fences back.

I'm taking our partnership one ride at a time, but I'm so happy to see improvement and increased confidence with every lesson!

The "B**tch betta have my peppermint" faces.
"I hear you're cheating on me with my girlfriend. How dare you!"

- K & C & L


  1. The faces of candy! Glad you're building up confidence :)

    1. Candy is such a sassafrass! Confidence is slowing coming back, along with being able to ride. ;)

  2. ugh i know all about those feelings of anxiety and just rushing to the other side... sounds like you guys are really starting to click tho, exciting!

    1. Thank you! It's so exciting to see progress- every ride is getting better with Lexie. I love it!

  3. Waiting is the hardest part sometimes. It takes a lot of reps before you believe it and can execute, IMHO