Monday, 19 January 2015

January Blues

We've been busy over the last couple of weeks, starting the countdown to our first event in March. Training is taking the focus and first up was a session with Sara Jane Lanning. I've not seen her since October and have been working hard on improving our areas of weakness but as Buddy has had some time off and I've not been out competing I wondered if we had made any improvement at all.

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. 

So, on the way home I reflected. Of course Warren is right and we have both come a really long way since our first lesson. I have confidence in Buddy but also in myself and when it does go a bit wrong nwither of us have a complete meltdown ;o) It's a rubbish time of year for feeling a bit down so I'm going to put it down to that, plus my huge drive to do better. It's a good thing but only as long as it has a positive impact. 

Buddy has a busy weekend planned as we've got our next session with Warren and our first competition of the year.

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