I could drag this out a few days, but I won't. I could tell you all about that morning, but I'll summarize this way lots of waiting. I hung out with the barn crew, while R scurried back to the hotel to grab lunch & snacks.
When my ride time was approaching, Lynn came to me, and said "Can you have him ready in a half an hour?" EEK! Um, sure, I think. So R and I got Ransom dressed, wrapped, and me dressed & ready.
I took Ransom to the covered arena to warm up. A ten minute lunge or so, his wiggley eyes were ooh'ing and ahh'ing the camera crew below in the outdoor. A bit of leg-checks, soundness confirmations, and I was ready to set. I hopped on, and focused on one thing - breathing. I controlled my inhale and exhale by strides, at all three gaits. I concentrated on chest out, heels down. When he settled into his trot, he started out stiff & stickie. Expected - he'd been in a stall all day. After some rounds at canter, his trot extended & softened.
The half-hour turned into well over an hour, but I didn't let him stop much. We were at least poking around at an extended walk. I couldn't let Ransom think "that was it, he's done", or the tape ride would've been horrendous.
The crew came to gather up standards & poles, and R and I took Ransom to the arena. I chose to hand-walk him down, for many reasons. Nerves, mud, puddles, hillside, spooks, all kinds of excuses, but mostly nerves. I got back in the uncovered arena, found a box to mount from, and got on.
Julie stood at the fence, and watched us ride. What a rush! I think it was genuine, but she had this awesome "hey that looks good" smile watching us go 'round. I walked for a bit, and at one point, she asked me to pick up a trot "so I'd be ready when they were ready". I said to her real quick-like, "Hey. I know I'm here to jump, but if you see something, anything, I can change course immediately and learn to fix whatever's really broken." She nodded, so I moved along.
While the camera crew (Steve!) guided me at all three gaits, in both directions, Julie talked to the camera in the background. R said when the wind was right, he heard some of it. What he heard were things like, "Good solid rider, good legs & hands, good foundation". Neat!
It took three (or four, I can't remember) takes, but I rode into Julie at the circle center, and we talked. She asked how long I've been riding, a little about my horse, his experience, and how long I've had him. She applauded my intelligence for getting an experienced horse, and said "most people aren't that smart, so I'm proud of you for making that decision." (or something like that) She said we looked really good on the flat, I've got a good solid seat & foundation. She wanted to teach me a few new positions, and we needed to get some jump work set up. Ransom and I followed her down the arena, camera fade out....
While trot poles were adjusted, I did my little camera interview. We tried doing it with Ransom, who absolutely refused to stand still. *Laugh* It was about the funniest part of the entire taping. Ransom had the "head bob lookie sees", so he got taken off the interview. Poor Boy! On the first horse-less take, there was an airplane over head. Steve flapped his arms like an airplane.... Which reminded me of an airplane joke.
So this guy is telling off on how smart his son is at work. He said, "My son is so smart! He ran out in the front yard yesterday morning, and yelled "AirPlane! AirPlane!" I'm so proud of him!" Well, he oughta be that bright! He's FourTeen! *laughter shared all around, and we got back to business*
I completed my interview, and hopped back on. Julie and I did a camera close-up moment, where she explained half seat, two point, and jump position. These were ENTIRELY different from anything anybody else had ever said. In my times with Romeo, and Chewie, two-point was always "stick your hiney out!" Nope, not now. Both half seat and two point were "pelvis tucked under, and hands up forward".
We practiced a little on the flat, then trotted over the poles a couple times. Julie said it looked good, but to work on the release. "Release the reins!" I heard a dozen times. It got a little better. Then, she took the poles away, and set up a cross rail.
Things got interesting real fast. One hop over the rail, and a switch flipped in Ransom's head. He started taking off, getting speedy, and hollow. I tried half-halting, and he ran through. Julie kept repeating "work on the release". I got nervous. Plain & simple. It seemed that nothing I did slowed him down.
Then Julie mounted up and rode him a little while. When she finished, she was approaching the crossrail. I don't know how she did it, but she had him at walk between the trot pole and the crossrail. A complete walk! She had me get back on, and we worked on position only, away from the jumps. She told me to work on "poles only, and concentrate on the new half seat and two point, practicing the release over and over and over."
Our time together was well over an hour, maybe even two. The longer we worked together, the camera crew and grips and all the help slowly wandered out of the arena. When we got done, I realized they were all gone. I said to Julie, "Geez, I'm sorry. Did I do something wrong to make them give up?" She assured me, "No. You're fine. They ran out of filming daylight. Just keep practicing. Maybe a little today, but don't over do it. You'll have plenty of time tomorrow. We'll schedule accordingly so you can practice."