Team Practice #3: With Video!

I am so incredibly grateful to Austen from Guinness on Tap for shivering at my barn for an hour and a half during team practice today and taking these videos.  It's the first time I've ever really seen Connor jump!


The short version of today's team practice is: 1. Gait adjustability and 2. Remember to ride him like he's green.

The long version comes with videos!  Most of them are very short and packed full of cute pony shenanigans. :-)

On the flat, she called out a number and we would have to ride that "level" of the gait we were in, with 3 being a working trot/canter, and 5 being "as much as they can give you."  She focused on the hind legs continuing to be engaged in the shortest trot/canter, and not letting them get strung out at the strongest trot/canter.  When she asked for a 4 canter the first time to the left, Connor gave me a cheeky little buck, which Austen got on video.

Right lead:


Left lead, with buck (I took the sound out, but I burst into giggles every time Connor bucks with me, and today was no exception.  It's just so harmless and tiny when he does it!):



Next, we all tried jumping the hogsback for the first time.  Connor wasn't bothered by it, and I found it easier than usual to find a good distance to it.  Not sure why.



Next, we did a bending line, the first time in four strides:



And the second time in three.   I saw that we could get the three a little late and asked him for it anyway and he superman'd it over, to the delight of my trainer, who said, "Well ridden, that's how it's done!  You can ALL get three strides in that if Connor can get three strides in that!"  It was a valiant effort on Connor's part at doing what I asked:



After that, we went three times through the course, and the story of the day was passenger riding on my part led to problems, although he was honest to everything - his runout and stop were my fault.  In this first attempt, I misjudged the blue vertical going around the corner and surprised him with it, and then didn't account for the liverpool surprising him when we came off the rail, and he ran out.  A fellow rider's horse who has evented up to the CCI* level was later also surprised by the liverpool but still went over, which my trainer pointed out and said was the difference between a seasoned horse and a green horse:


She asked the other riders when they knew Connor and I weren't going over, and everyone said back by the rail, a few strides out.  Connor wasn't looking for the fence, and got caught off guard.  That's my fault.

In the second time through, he got scrambly after the liverpool so I thought I'd trot the line, but didn't have enough impulsion.  Add in me committing with my upper body at the same time as I half-halted, and it was a rider-induced recipe for a stop:



Finally, our third attempt I didn't feel comfortable going for the blue fence the first time, so she had me leg yield over to the rail after the hogsback to give myself more room/time to get organized for the blue vertical.  Things were pretty good from there, and we called it a day on this one:



All in all, he felt a little tired from the beginning after getting all that energy out at yesterday's lesson, and he was not as sharp on my aids as he has been lately, but he still looked great and had enough gas in the tank for all of the jumping that we did.  His canter work was great to see as well, since this time last year we couldn't even canter half of a 20m circle!   Slow and steady is producing a careful and confident little jumper, if I will only remember to be less of a pilot and more of a rider.

29 comments:

  1. Yah for video. You guys are looking great!

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  2. You guys are looking very shop even with the few hiccups. Your trainer seems really fun to work with. I really may have to come visit sometime. :)

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    1. You should, she's amazing! We also have clinicians in regularly - Cathy Jones Forsberg, Nad Noon, Nancy Kleiner, Chris Ruysen - if you are ever interested in riding with any of them. We're a half hour south of Indy off of I-74.

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  3. Love the video! Seems like that was a really great experience.

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  4. Yay Video!! He is looking great. I am so out of the loop due to work. I saw team practice and thought is was something like a drill tream :/ Great that you get to work with other horses.

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    1. Oh don't think I haven't made a drill team joke multiple times since we started these team practices! Haha. Especially about Connor and the 17 hand fellow doing a drill!

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  5. Love seeing Connor move in the video! Great job!

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    1. Thanks, me too, honestly! I never get to see him.

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  6. Great videos! He jumps so cute. :) I think you guys look great!

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  7. Connor looks so smart! That's a real spooky course, he's popping around nice and easy... I foresee you having lots of fun this year!

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    1. Thanks. He has grown up so much mentally, it makes a big difference. Two years ago I didn't think we'd ever be able to jump stuff like this.

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  8. Connor is so cute!!

    So fun to actually see this team stuff you are doing :)

    Those standards are so cute!!! I haven't seen those short ones often :)

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    1. Thanks! We mostly use the short standards in the indoor because it's too small to ever jump very big, and they are light and easy to move. Our full-height standards and wings are in the outdoor or across the field, too cold for that right now!

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  9. You two look fantastic! Connor's an adorable little jumper, I love his flippy little back end over some of the fences. I also think we need to somehow be in the same place at the same time and do a chestnut-flaxen-sport-pony pas de deux. Or something. It would be cute overload.

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    1. Oh definitely let's make that happen! The other riders were commenting on how careful/flippy his hind end is too, and I had no idea that was happening until I saw that video. News to me too, but I love it. :-)

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  10. Yay! I'm glad the videos turned out, and weren't too shaky! You guys looked really freaking good!

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    1. Thank you thank you THANK YOU, they are wonderful. I learned so much about both of us from watching those. Wish we lived closer to each other!

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  11. It was great to see you and Connor in action! His canter is looking really good and I love how his tail swings in trot.

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  12. Looking good! What a great lesson you guys had.

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  13. You guys look great! Love the sassy bits. :)

    And I'm with Allie, but we should find as many flaxen chestnuts as we possibly can! Muahahahahaa!

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    1. Flaxen chestnut pony (breed) drill team???

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  14. You two look great! :) Like I've said before I am sooo envious of that beautiful mane and tail.
    This gives me confidence that Gavin could jump!

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    1. Hey Erika, great to hear from you, and thank you! Gavin can totally jump, I have yet to meet one of Lisa's that couldn't jump the sky. My trainer is constantly saying how much scope Connor has. I know it's hard to see, but he got some serious air over that barrel jump the first time we took it. Gavin will do it too!

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  15. You two look great! Connor's canter is looking so balanced and powerful.

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