Decided we had better have another lesson with Nigel since the stop and Solihull and then at Keysoe; I want to go to Moreton Morrell feeling confident and with Finn enjoying herself. I wanted to try out the new ecogold XC boots, but decided against as her legs were still a bit sensitive in places – another few days will benefit her I think. Will use them for the first time at Moreton Morrell.
Nigel said that we had good rhythm and balance, but I must be careful not to chase her between the elements of a double, sit up and wait. I must also ensure that I don’t back off the canter – make sure it has ‘jump’ and is forward enough, but staying balanced. I need to trust her a bit more.
We started out on the all weather surface and finished off on the grass. Nigel said that he thought the stops recently may be due to me pushing for a long stride on take off – he told me to wait and keep a good rhythm and an active canter. Try not to keep seeing that long stride!
We did quite a bit on the surface and put a few little courses together, including the water and some of the novice jumps. We did a few skinnies, with two skinny fences at a related distance on a curving line – I saw a good line every time on the right rein; but on the left rein I lost her through the shoulder to the 2nd element, but fortunately Finn was honest and jumped the barrel for me. I was better on the second attempt.
I then confessed my fear of ditches so Nigel made us jump the ditch about 10 times – I still didn’t like it, especially as jumping from the SJ arena to the XC area was the ditch with a drop landing down a bank – scary!
The lesson finished on the grass with a small course, including the trakehner. We did practice the trakehner before embarking on the course, and had a spot of bother with it…… I must ride more positively, sit up, kick on, and be soft with the hand. We jumped it from both directions about 10 times and then finished with the course of about 9 or ten jumps which felt really good. Finn was locking onto the fences and really felt like she was enjoying her jumping, even the trakehner!!!
Feeling happier now for the ODE at Moreton Morrell next week, bring it on!