I had a bit of inattention at the wrong time today hauling over to my lesson. The driveway at the farm is narrow, and you go between two stone columns, then wind around a bridge with a fence on one side and another wall on the other. I’ve been going there, in the dark, for months now. I managed to cut the corner around the fence and shear off a fencepost with my wheel. I’ve also been driving this rig for YEARS! I’ve had the trailer since 1999! I know how to drive the GN, but I quit paying attention at the wrong moment!
I was quite late, as I had to go check out the damage and apologize profusely to the farm owner. I asked her if she’d found my curb chain, but she had not, so I said I’d already bought a replacement. She said “Oh, that means you’ll find it now”. And as I mounted up, I look over…there is a curb chain on the picnic table. I think the person who mows found it! Yay! I can return the extra, extra curb chain I bought and that $10 covers the fencepost I bought.
So, after I got over the adrenalin rush of that, we went up into the ring, and went through the warm up. I needed to stabilize my inside hand more today, but we focused on quality bend at the walk, then trot, and then maintained it through the canter. Then it was onto the test work.
We started in trot, Shoulder in down half the long side, half pass to center line, straight, turn same direction, repeat. In the test, this will be followed by a medium or extended trot across the diagonal, to go the other direction. Today, I needed to be super careful to not have Bali’s haunches leading in the half pass. It is time to go with more weight aids, less leg, because she is too quick to swing the haunches around at the leg.
After that, we moved into canter. The test has canter at F, 10m half circle to canter down centerline, halfpass right to rail, flying change before the corner letter. Medium canter down the long side to do the left half pass and flying change.
The canter halfpass was where I really needed to focus on keeping her shoulders leading. Shoulder in feel, I needed to go towards the mirror to see how much she was swinging the haunches. We finally got a couple of nice ones, then I had to insist on counter cantering around the short side because she decided she should just change when she felt we were close enough. I definitely need to make sure I practice holding counter canter so she doesn’t think every half pass to the rail ends in a flying change.
Overall, I feel pretty confident that we are ready for the show!
After taking Bali home, I dropped my trailer off for annual maintenance and state inspection. I went ahead and left a note to replace the worn out reflective tape on the edges. More flaked off with the fence incident, but in all, I was lucky it was a minimal amount of damage, and it definitely will keep me sharp next time I’m parking in tight quarters.