I have been lax about writing down my Neuf lessons. He’s back with Martin for Feb/Mar, for the indoor!!! I miss having him at home, because I only ride him 3x a week when he’d over there, but Martin rides him the other days. A much busier barn than home, and I think it has been good for Neuf to learn to deal with multiple environments.
I’d meant to grab a dressage saddle to take over, but I realized I hadn’t gotten it down from where it is stored, it has no stirrups on it, and I ran out of time, but I am feeling very successful despite that, I cleaned 4 stalls, groomed and blanketed 4 horses, got them turned out into the dry lots, packed my lunch and work clothes, and got to my lesson, then work, on time. I did have to ask Pat for help with the hay and water, and the barn was not finished, just the stalls cleaned.
It worked out that I was in my jumping saddle, because since we are planning on going to a show on Sunday, we jumped.
As always, Neuf started out under-powered. But I give him a long warm up, like the diesel engine he is, and then I start to put him together and work on the self discipline required to not nag him, and insist on a forward reaction to my FIRST request…not third, fourth….or tenth. The wind was whipping this morning…and so there were some loud creaks coming from the indoor doors and the tarp (a window was broken a few weeks ago and there is a tarp in there until the new glass arrives) was flapping and popping like a sail. The pops would give Neuf a burst of energy, sometimes forward, sometimes sideways.
Turns out my leg is better and more solid when I’m prepared for a spin.
I worked on paying attention to when I use my leg. Even made it firm enough to get a kick out, he needs to give me a reaction, and part of that is on me. I let him be lazy, too often, doing too much of the work myself.
Jumping is considerably more fun when Neuf takes me to the fence. The size doesn’t matter when I’ve got a good, quality canter, he just carries me over. I realize that I did not shorten my stirrups, even when the jumps got close to 3′. And his jump was still fun for me, I felt secure.
I still need to remember to separate my aids more on Neuf. Legs only or hands only. Not both, so when I’m asking him to go, preferably on my first request, I leave his face, even give a little, which if I do that in a dressage lesson on Bali, I’m going to get major correction from my instructor.
I’m getting more relaxed about jumping. I’d had such a long hiatus from jumping that it has taken me a long time to really relax. I am, finally, starting to feel like I can ride, adjust and actually be a pilot, not a passenger. I might be approaching conscious competence, at least some of the time.