Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Showing the fruits of my labor

It seems that after I make a decision to hold off on the showing for a while is when improvement seems to show. I had such an amazing ride on Possum last night it was crazy. As I have mentioned in my last post we're really working on length of stride, shortening and lengthening. Possum has never had any problem lengthening, but shortening is another story. He's been doing well lately so I decided to setp out of our comfort zone and really put our training to the test. I started out the ride just as any other ride, giving him a good warm-up and then trotting 2ft fences in both directions and then cantering. After that I focused on getting a certain number of strides in a line. It was set to a fairly large 4 stride. Possum easily got 5 strides and once we even squeaked in 6 strides. It wasn't pretty, but it as done. Then I took a deep breath, dismounted and eased the jumps to 3'3" verticals. They were big airy verticals with just a single pole and ground poles.

I just have to add that I hate verticals. Especially airy verticals. I find it hard to really find my spots. I did this on purpose to not rely on my eye and to focus on pace and rhythm. My goal for the exercise was to get 4 strides in the line, just the same as it was at 2ft. So both of us were really being challenged in this exercise. I bit the bullet and started him in a canter. I kept the same rhythm as we did for the 2ft fences and focused on maintaining his energy and having it be an active canter without it being fast. We got a perfect spot to the first fence. After we landed I et him have one forward stride and then eased him into a shorter canter stride. He responded well and we made it down the line in a perfect 4, with it even being a little long onthe take off. I was floored. We did it again and nearly the same result. Then I changed direction and we nailed it again. The one time we messed up, or I should say I messed up was when we were really getting short strides and instead of asking him fir a long spot to the second jump I thought I could sneak in another little stride. But I didn't prepare him enough ahead of time so we had to basically splant his front legs and then make a four footed leap over the jump, knocking the rail with his hind feet. I made sure to let him know what this was not his mistake and that it was me. He seemed to understand because after putting it back up we did it again and he was great.

I was so happy after the ride. I can;t even describe how good it feels for all the hard work to pay off. I felt like we could have done a whole course in a relaxed manner. For the end of the ride I worked for a few minutes on transisions, especially canter to walk.

So maybe I just wasn't working on the right things this summer. Maybe I was focusing too much on the big picture and stressing myself out on showing and everything else that I really didn't get a chance to tackle the real issues. Who knows, but we seem to be on the right track now. I know that there will be set backs and all, but it just feels good to finally get ahead of the game.

I also have to add that my finances are finally starting to look a little more bright. I've been scrimping and saving and paying off bills and trying to get ahead. I also have some money coming in from work that I didn't even think of. So that's def good news as well. I figure that by the end of November I will be all caught up, credit card all paid off and paying bills early instead of a week late.

Still been talking to Minnesota guy on a daily basis. Hoping to either go out for a visit or him to vome visit here sometime in the next month we'll see.

Alright, the roomie is begging my to go out for a walk. We're being lazy asses and sitting in our recliners with laptops on out legs and making silly stupid comments. So I better get back to acting 12. Check in later.


Leah Fry said...

Glad to hear you & Possum have found the sweet spot. Maybe you both just needed to release the pressure?

Nina said...

Congrats on your great ride - I love it when everything falls into place!

Laura said...

Congrats on the great ride! Sounds like you guys are doing so well!

Glad to hear your finances are working out better - that is always a relief!