You can have what you want

Another jump lesson (finally!! I missed it last week when our schedules were thrown out of whack!) and another good ride to report on. This week we focused on some cavaletti work (3 cavaletti, 2 strides in between each). We did it in two ‘bigger’ strides, and I did a compressed stride of 3 strides in between and it was wayyy too easy for Oats. He is a fan of the ‘slug’ stride, apparently!

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Here’s my schoolmaster! 

So we decided to keep him at 2 strides, because clearly the bigger stride was more challenging for him than compressing the stride!

And then we moved on to a small course, incorporating the cavaletti work into the course. I was actually kind of tired doing the cavaletti work, it feels more ‘physical’ than just jumping jumps, weirdly. Nicole says it’s because you have to keep riding through it, rather than kind of like, ‘jump’..coast… ‘jump’! Oats was also having to work hard, and he was getting tired through the end of the last course, haha.

In the course we had a small 1-stride, and I bungled it a few times before figuring it out. He was going in boldly, and I was getting left behind and kind of jostled. Not to my liking! So I came in quiet, and asked for a closer takeoff and it worked out great! Until…I took too much back and we bungled it, haha. So, I needed to be conservative, but then ‘LET GO’ in the 1-stride. Easier said than done? But we did it well after!

I did feel vulnerable really releasing over the second element of the 1-stride. It feels weird!! But Oats was jumping great, so I had to, hahaha. Good boy 🙂

And I also feel weirdly proud that his Tuesday rider is having such good rides on him- almost prouder than what I have been able to achieve on him myself. Yay Oats for being a good boy and a schoolmaster. It makes my heart feel so happy!

Back to the barn

I took two weeks off from riding when I was in Peru, but Oats had the lucky opportunity to have a few rides by my friend and her friend. Yes! Unfortunately, his canter sucked. It’s time for him to have a chiropractic adjustment, because a big tell for him is swapping his canter leads when asked for anything remotely more challenging that his ‘one canter’…

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I tested this when I got back and yep. High time for him to have a tune-up, as he was swapping right, left and centre! ARGH. He has an appointment this Wednesday.

But, the good news is that he was raring to go when I got back on-board. Yay! He’s still moving and feeling fine, and I had some fun rides back. I even rode the day I got back (very much NOT recommended, I was a zombie), but I missed him so much I couldn’t resist.

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We had our jumping lesson last night in the outdoor- first time for us this season and it *just* opened. I told Nicole to temper our expectations, ha because I wasn’t sure how it would go after taking two weeks off, and our first time in the outdoor. I should have just kept my mouth shut, because it went great!  Oats was super, and once we got through the course he started really flowing. He started off sticky and backed off (due to the change in footing I believe) but I was quite happy with how the course rode.

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Bonus: We now have rocks to jump, thanks to Nicole and Brenda buying jumps from the other trainer Karen. And Oats jumped them without any issues! Yessss!

It feels so so good to ride again. I always miss him when I am travelling 🙂

Mr. Oats is a good pony

He didn’t get a lot of work this week- I had the David Sedaris reading when I normally have my dressage lesson, and then he got tranqued (almost wrote tanked!) on Wednesday to get clipped, so it was just a mega-fast ride on Tuesday and then my lesson on Thursday so far this week!

Oats from 2012-think we've progressed?

(I’m not going to lie- any sort of change in schedule makes me feel SUPER ANXIOUS.) Like, I’m only comfortable with a total break in schedule when I am physically out of the province or something on holidays. Curiously, this applies to my gym-going at lunch- MUST GO. And being at the barn with Oats. MUST GO.

If I can’t, and I am still at home doing something else- I feel weird, anxious, worried.

Another oldie- photo by Jodie

I shouldn’t have been worried though- Oats was so good! Cooperative, willing to go forward (not always his strong suit) and jumping very nicely. Me on the other hand- needs some work! haha.

We worked on cantering with my hands pressed against his neck in two-point with the purpose of staying very still, and then trotted and cantered a warmup crossrail. We then moved to a small oxer at canter, and then strung together a small course.

I was not feeling great (turns out I have a mild cold or something that causes tiredness, coughing up gross stuff and insane night sweats and day sweats…) so I kept it short and fairly easy with lots of walk breaks. But, I was still challenged!

I wanted to do a lot with my hands, and let my hands act as my legs by mistake – trying to yank Oats around a corner, causing him to bulge out, getting us to the jump sideways…

And it’s funny yet AGAIN I saw the jumps set up, and was like hmmm I want to be a bit worried about them (particularly the warm up oxer) but when we ended up working up to it…I didn’t even have anything to say! HA hahah.

Good: Getting more pace, most distances worked out, our best jump was the small oxer I was initially afraid of warming up. Bravery is getting better but still can be further developed. Visualization is good so far.

Needs work: Straightness again, landing on my feet and not in a heap, too-busy hands and stop trying to let my hand do the work around corners. Keep pace going, don’t let it slack off. Do more two-point and don’t sit back and drive- use legs/crop!