XC lesson with Nigel Taylor @ Aston-le-Walls

Nigel was already teaching a lady in the SJ arena when I arrived for my lesson at 10am – he asked if it was OK for us to have an XC lesson together.  She was also doing her RF at Moreton Morrell so thought this was a good idea.  I warmed Finn up and then went straight into a course of XC jumps on the surface.

We spent some time focusing on the skinny jumps and the steps – both of which required a steady but powerful canter – I put Finn too fast at the barrell skinny the first time and she ran out, re-approached and she was fine with a steadier and more controlled canter.  We did the steps both up and down – remembering to stay in balance and allow.  We then did the triple brush fence – which Finn flew first time; the other lady had a few problems on her horse and Nigel got one of his riders to take him over it before she got back on a cleared it.

We then approached the ditches – Finn was still reluctant – but Nigel said I was too nice (if your husband came rolling home pissed from the pub with a blonde under each arm you’d ask them all if they wanted a cup of tea)!!!  So I got more insistent and she went over – leaping into the air, we went back and forward over the ditch about 10 times, by which time she was getting the hang of it.  We then went out onto the grass and jumped a course out there.  He made me and Finn do the ditch and the trakehner a couple of times before setting off on the course.  I need to have Finn much more forward and responsive off the leg – without losing it all out of the front door……

Finn was still sticky at the ditches so I had to get quite tough with her – we jumped a rail ditch combination from both directions (rail to ditch, then ditch to rail); she was acting very green but we did get a positive result in the end.  I really have to be much more insistent with her – sit up, allow with the hands and kick; and don’t be afraid to give her a smack!

We completed the lesson back on the surface with a course, including the water and the ditch – Finn felt great and was really taking me to the fences by now.  A good feeling to finish on!  I learnt a lot by watching Margaret on her horse so a good way to have a lesson.