Lucky for me, SJL did notice a difference in him (both in work and musculature), so we continued moving forwards with our education! I wanted to focus a bit on test riding and helping build up our strength. I find that I struggle a bit sometimes with preparing for each movement - oddly enough not something I struggle with when a test is trickier but some of the prelim tests consist of trot round, canter round and throw in a circle so I think my brain considers it 'easy' ;o) We worked on what I need to aim for (much bigger trot, improving the stretch in the free walk) and how to integrate that theory into practise so I will see how it works out this weekend.
We also spent some time working on canter as that, although hugely improved, is something we still need to work on. I let B pull me down, my reins get long and all of a sudden we are long and strung out - it's annoying as I really need to think about it - he's a sneaky little donkey.
I also have to concentrate on keeping my position in the right canter as he can change behind if I shift my weight even slightly. He gives me plenty to think about that's for sure.
That left us buzzing and on form for our second training session of the week - this time jumping with Warren Lamperd. I was a bit nervous as I there were a lot of 'firsts' to overcome as we'd not been to the venue before, never jumped indoors, never loaded or travelled in the dark and I didn't 'know' anyone else going. B was a bit wired initially but it is quite a spooky indoor and there were some strangers watching through the glass and on the sidelines. I started the session rustily... Bad riding and B putting up with it. But after some focus from Warren we progressed quite quickly and I soon felt back in the groove. The things to work on are to use my body to turn (in tight spaces I panic and have a tendency to 'haul' to get my line) and canter more (we've been using trot to get the confidence and now we've moved on it's time to stop babying). I finished the session feeling slightly frustrated - I feel like such an amateur sometimes (I know I am...) but know that if I had more money to train, more horses to ride I would improve so much faster. I shared this with Warren but he looked at me like I had three heads and told me that it was the best and most confident he'd seen us. This made me grin.
Buddy has a busy weekend planned as we've got our next session with Warren and our first competition of the year.