First, a shoutout to Amateur At Large, from whom I completely stole this title. If you don’t read her blog, you should — cute outfits, adorable pugs and a gorgeous backyard barn — it really doesn’t get better than that. Okay, anyways… as has been my usual lately, I’m behind on blog posts this month: I owe you a show report, and TWO product reviews (#bloggerfail). They are quickly forthcoming, I promise! So to hold you over, I thought I’d share some quick thoughts on what I’ve been working on.
Squeeze the Banana
Longtime readers know that one of my biggest challenges with Miles is to get him going forward. We’ve both improved a lot on this subject over the last year, but it still continues to be a sticking point for us. I’m working on a few concepts currently to address the problem. The first is not giving up. Once we pick up the canter, every stride I ask for more. If Miles gets grumpy and sucks back, I raise my eye and ignore him. After the first fence, I keep working on getting a bigger canter. I don’t just accept the canter we have after the first fence, I try to get even more.
The second concept I’m working on is exactly how I use my leg. This might seem very elementary, but I don’t think I use my leg the most correct way. So I worked with some friends, discussing the position of my leg, and exactly how it is applied. We really broke everything down, and having some helpers on the ground was great for my understanding. I’m working on thinking of using my legs to “squeeze the banana”, so that my heel doesn’t come up and that I’m using my lower leg to add pressure. It’s really difficult, and I’m at the stage where I almost need constant assistance to get this right. But when I do it correctly, it really works.
Hit the Trails
My next outing with Miles isn’t really an outing at all — it’s a Hunter Pace hosted right at our barn. One of my goals this year has been to get out of the arena more, in the hopes that I’d be prepared enough to do the slow hunter pace (walk, with a tiny bit of trot). While I don’t feel 100% prepared, as there are a lot of trails we haven’t yet been on, and we’re not as confident as we could be, I think Miles and I are ready to follow someone out on the pace. I’ve been getting out of the arena more and more, and Miles has shown that if he can follow nose to tail, he’ll go through any ditch, walk through the water and do pretty much whatever.
The hunter pace is in two weeks, so my goal is to hit the trails at least four more times before then… we’ll see how we do! Either way our team is being led by Trainer, so I know we will be in good hands. I’m looking forward to doing something a bit different!
Now that I feel like we’re in the middle of show season, and I’m working hard to keep improving, I want to slow down and smell the roses a bit. I’ve been concentrating on having fun (especially on Moiya), which has led to some really great flat rides and a killer jump lesson last week. I have absolutely no goals with Moiya, so any ride on her is just for fun… and that is working so well for me. It’s nice to take the pressure off, and just enjoy the ride. It reminds me why I do this crazy equestrian thing in the first place.
The post What’s Up Wednesday appeared first on Fly On Over.