Monday, January 12, 2009

1/11/09 Lessons on Both

Jenn showed up right around 1pm to get our lessons started. We began our adventures with Romeo. =) The whole lesson was just flat-out fun! I showed her what he's got - as Romeo lazily trotted over the crossrails, making no effort to jump. So she set it up as a vertical, nearly 2' (my estimation from the last time I measured it). Romeo finally started jumping over the vertical, trot to and from. We worked on jumps for nearly an hour, then focused on walk-canter up and canter-trot down transitions. Romeo needs to clean them up, and so do I.

Romeo Homework: Transitions transitions transitions. In and out of canter, plenty of them. Romeo needs to respond quicker to the transition request, and I need to be more upright in the saddle, confident contact on both reins. Work on less upper body leaning forward, grab mane instead of saddle pommel for transition up. Over rails, open up shoulders, and look up(!) over the fence. I realized yesterday that, over the rail, I'm looking at absolutely nothing. I look up and away before the fence, I look up and out after the fence, but for that mid-air moment, I'm not looking at anything, which is bad. Get out the little bittie spurs, and use them on up transitions, and a stride before all fences for an extra burst.

Then onto Ransom. This wasn't so much a lesson as it was a "learning session" for us. I didn't get coaching, like "heels down" or "sit back" or anything of that nature, just a few tips like singing to keep the muscles relaxed & my brain focused. We worked on lots of trot, and a little canter. His transition into it is easy, his transition out is still a little bit of a mystery. I haven't found just the touch to get him back into an easy trot. It was a nice 40 minute session.

Ransom Homework: Lunge Line. Find somebody willing to hold the line, and just stand there, ready to take control if I need something, but mostly, just hold the line, and do nothing. Allow me to ride without worrying about where he'll go, any gait I choose. If I can't find a line-holder, hang out in the round pen, where there's not enough room for him to gather any kind of speed, and repeat much of the same. Any saddle I choose, western or English, no focus on being pretty right now, just relaxed.

Great day overall! A nice chance for me to demonstrate how much I've accomplished in the past few years since she last saw me ride, and a good time to show-off how solid Romeo has become.

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