The lead up

This weekend is  the  big one, we are finally going eventing again after 10  long months. A month ago I was nervous but for the last two weeks I have been so excited.

Thursday and Friday I had lessons for one last tune up. Thursday was flatwork and we got hammered. Bec wanted us to step up to the next level and that meant I needed to really tell Henry to lift his game and insist he go forward into the contact.

Now this is something we have been getting good at, or so I thought! Turns out I have been getting a bit slack at home. Henry came out on Thursday and also didn't want to move his shoulders at all. It was a bit of a shit sow really! Bec  dinged us for just about everything and made us work so hard to fix it. She explained that we are  really to  step up to the next level and that  means insisting that  Henry  stay up onto  the contact rather  than  fluffing about. We also have to add  more  oomph to t he trot. Adding more  oomph on Thursday was what  was making everything fall apart but by the end of the lesson we were both hot and  sweaty, but we had got  the shoulders moving and Henry was now my lighter off my leg and  trotting and cantering around  with a lot more purpose. Not sure he  thought it  was  a good idea but then he can earn his  keep, haha!
Breakfast  at sunrise

Friday  we jumped and Bec put out a  nice course for us filled with fill. We warmed up briefly over a cross before getting straight into things. Again, Bec was being  very hard on us and it was another messy lesson.  Bec  wanted  me to make  decisions into every jump. It  seems I have  a tendency to  sit  up there  and do nothing, where I  should really be riding more. Funny how you think you are  doing one thing but a good coach totally calls you out and you  realise you're not doing anything at all.
These clouds  were so cool before my lesson

It was a tough lesson, I had to ride forward to every jump, set up early  and make a decision to get  us to the jumps. It  took me a few goes to get the forward and maintain  it around the course. Henry was  also consistently landing on the  right  lead, it  seems our homework of strengthening the right side up has worked because 2 weeks  ago he  wanted  to  land left. It made left  turns hard because no matter how hard I tried he would not  land  on the  left lead. Bec  said it was related to him being less manoeuvrable in the shoulders, as we had discovered  the  previous day in flat work.
All  aboard  the struggle bus

We finished up after I did a course  where I  made decisions to every   fence  and  sat  quietly coming in. None of  the  fill bothered Henry but   I  had to make sure I  landed and kept my  leg on,  turned and  kept my leg on  and  just  generally   needed  to  have  my  leg on   all the  time. Henry  responded by staying forward and we got some good jumps.

Bec and I discussed my game plan for the  weekend and I went away  with a solid warm up plan for every phase.

These lessons were both hard. Nothing about them was worth a "OMG me and my horse are both  so good at this and we are perfect" gush fest. Oh no, we exposed our weaknesses big time. They were lessons where  you might walk away  and think what  the  fuck, I thought we were better than that. But instead I  walked away with a clear idea of what I needed to work on at  home and what I  needed to do at our comp to give our  very best  work. I know in our next lessons we will be  a lot better  and I  know these lessons will set  us up for success.


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