Fred Bergendorff was at the yard teaching Ibby Show Jumping on all her horses, Grace was going to have a lesson and Fred said to join in – so I had a joint lesson with Grace.
We did trot serpentines to warm up – thinking about rhythm, balance and suppleness and working evenly on both reins. Then some work in canter, where Fred encouraged us to really feel the quality of the canter and ensuring that the horse was working underneath us – imagine sitting on a ball and ensuring that you react quickly if the horse loses impulsion, rushes forward or goes out to the side – if you were sitting on a ball you’d fall off if you didn’t react quickly enough – need to have the same way of thinking and RIDE THE MIDDLE OF THE CANTER.
We then did some canter poles at 4 strides – Finn was really good and I was careful to focus on the rhythm and riding the middle of the canter to ensure 4 even strides between the poles. We then did an upright off the left rein coming off the track, building up to a double down the long side and then from there building to a spread on the opposite side of the school.
The main thrust of the training session was to think about getting a good quality canter with rhythm, balance and then ‘riding the middle of the canter’ imagining myself sitting on that ball and staying in complete balance with Finn.
Finn was very good and responded well to me doing less on the approach to the fences and allowing her to do the jumping!