This time, I conquer (gymnastics, sort-of)

Yes, I feel like every week I face the same struggle – gymnastics- and how I seem to fail miserably at them. Even my coach was like, why are your single fences good and your gymnastics just not?! Yeah! Good question!

Mr. Oats is a mini-me! (Oats and Donato

Mr. Oats is a mini-me! (Oats and Donato)

I think my single fences feel smoother, like I can get in a rhythm and we’re good. Our trot-in gymnastics, not so natural. I suggested we do the gymnastics more to the middle of the lesson, and Nicole was like yeah but then you’d just want to canter in. Well, that’s true. It feels more natural to do that too!

But anyways, we started off with a very basic gymnastic- x-rail to 1-stride vertical then oxer (small, 2’3” or smaller). And we were actually better than last week, which is why I put ‘I conquer’ at least for this week, haha. What worked best was…riding through the gymnastic in the dreaded ‘Phyllis rein’ style (carriage hand) and then I proceeded to ride my course with that, as it was working pretty well actually.

I did put on a neckstrap and then proceeded not to use it! I had a feeling I’d use it and pull on it, so I left it alone and kept with the Phyllis rein.

Good: Better rides through the gymnastics, even if the usual problems reared their ugly head. Single fences rode better. Oats was pretty eager, and I managed to STAY out of his way when we got a short distance instead of throwing my upper body at him! Also I have been good about practicing my on-course visualization every morning during my walks to work.

Bad: Bombed around a few corners, oops. Still having issues with my hands floating like, inches above his neck over the gymnastic. Rode for a good long spot and then didn’t trust Oats, so I got left behind.

Work on: Taking my time on course. Slowing down for transitions instead of rushing them/Oats. Being calmer, not chasing Oats, and working on bringing my hands lower in gymnastics. Straighter over the single fences. Confidence over 2′ fences is getting much better!

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Oats is a mini-me!

Oats is a mini-me!

Cute photo of Oats and my trainer’s horse Donato grazing in the field this week. He is so tiny compared with giant Donato! Adorable!

Good thing he’s cute too, because man, he was a SHIT yesterday in my lesson. Sucked back off my leg, leaning in to the right, diving at the canter, BUCKING? GRrrrrrrr.

I was pissed off, bigtime. We have a really nice, good hard working lesson on Tues, he gets Wed off for both of us to recover and he’s done a 180 and turned back into a little shithead pony. ARGH.

We were jumping and he just couldn’t bend, didn’t want to go, etc etc. I got too high with my hands, and they got VERY busy. It’s funny, when things go sideways I always get like ‘do more!’ more with my hands! Which I think is sometimes a bit of a reaction to him being a turd (high hands= stability when he bucks, and oh, he does!).

Harumphhhhh.

We got a miserly *few* good jumps, out of stride, engaged and forward and a few lousy ones.

I was mostly frustrated and annoyed. What’s with the bucking, the Jekyll-and-Hyde attitude? Jeesh, ponies! ARGH.