Sorry guys, I've been hideously busy trying to get ready for my rating (tomorrow!!) and keep up with my midterms. There are some post ideas kicking around in my head, but I just haven't had time to write them down. I really do feel bad when I don't post often.
Everything is going pretty well. I've had two fantastic lessons on McKinna this week, one jumping and one dressage, and I feel like we're back on the right track. For awhile there I was ready to despair-- I think the main culprit was not going to dressage lessons regularly, because as soon as we went back everything seemed to click again.
To tide you over until I get just a bit more free time, here's a video from our jumping lesson on Monday. I can see now watching the video that it looks like we're positively crawling along. Trying hard to find the balance, I guess! I think I was overcompensating for our trip before the one shown on the video, which was much too forward/strung-out and included her rushing through my hands during a simple change. I had her much more soft and listening this time, which is good - this was my last round, and I think if I did another I would have asked for more forward.
We got in underneath the second vertical (which was 3'3!!) but got out okay and the other two rode fine. Please note that I intentionally drifted out to avoid jumping the oxer the second time! I got such a nice fence...and wanted to land straight instead of turning away...but then I didn't want to jump the oxer...so I was indecisive and just kind of slooooowly drifted out of the line. McKinna is not much of the run-out type so I don't think I gave her any horrible habits.
I was very glad to have such a positive jumping lesson. This makes two in a row. I think we are back on track with McKinna - not to mention that I *finally* discovered how to actually half-halt McKinna at the canter. I have to add a LOT of calf, mostly to convince her that she can keep going even though my body's asking her to slow down and shift her weight back. I was able to get a few steps, here and there, of a really good canter without her getting all anxious and wound up (the important part). After this realization, our upwards canter transitions are magically better. Soft, forward, she powers up into them. Awesome. We are nowhere near there yet, but we're definitely on the right track.
See you guys soon, hopefully with news of a successful rating!
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