Test Review Lesson

We had another lesson today. We got to go over our BN test, which was nice. It was a stressful lesson, though. Everything is harder in the indoor, and everything is more stressful with Michele watching.

General things I learned:

  • When I twist my body, it twists her body. Duh.
  • Keep thumbs up. Come on.
  • Shoulders back/lean back.
  • I need to start acting like the boss. When I really tell her what to do….what do you know, she listens.

Test things I learned:

  • Dressage corners have corners.
  • Circles don’t.
  • I need to really focus on straightness when we’re supposed to be going straight. It makes a big difference.
  • I need to pick up my reins after the free walk at the quarter line, and immediately prepare for the trot transition.
  • I need to ask for the canter transition at the quarter line, so that I can get two tries. But her transitions were particularly bad tonight, so maybe it won’t be horrible tomorrow.
I don’t think there were any positive comments at tonight’s lesson, which really sucks. I get the feeling Michele thought we shouldn’t be doing BN tests.
Oh well. We’ll see how it goes. I hope we don’t embarrass her.

Prix Caprilli #2

Look at the flaxen!
Had a decidedly meh ride yesterday. There were five horses in the outdoor (!!), so Robbye waaaaas distracted. Plus she wanted to jump/canter/be silly, so we had some tense moments.
I did get to show off my impressive bucking seat to the other ladies, which was nice. They cheered for me a couple times.
And we did get to run through our Prix Caprilli test. It didn’t feel good, but Julie said that it looked good.
Hopefully this was our “bad ride before the great show” ride. 🙂

Prix Caprilli

I’m planning on acing this Prix Caprilli test this weekend.

Tuesday we practiced our trot -> halt and halt -> trot transitions (she loves to move right into a ToF when I ask her to halt – oops!), then we ran through our test a few times – twice at height. The jumps weren’t as difficult as I expected, and she was very willing to pick up the canter so close to the fences. Plus, I think having fences in the ring will help show off her bouncy, pushing off the hind end canter.

Yesterday I got stuck late at work, plus it was storming, so I took an unplanned day off.

Starting to get nervous – but I think the weekend will be awesome!!

Edit: I just realized that there are eleven people in my CT. I mean it’s nice to have competition but…now I’m more nervous!!  Four people in my Prix Caprilli and nine in Julie and Yogi’s cross rail CT. Almost there….



Apparently Robbye is a clover slobberer. I’ve never seen a horse produce so much saliva! She had a special little puddle in the middle of the aisle. What a goof…

Other than laughing at her idiosyncrasies, Rob and I also learned (bareback) our second dressage test for the weekend – the Prix Caprilli. It’s…an interesting test. We have to jump 2’6″ without a clear canter transition (or maybe we’re just supposed to jump from a trot?), so we’ll see how that goes. We also have trot>halt transitions, which we haven’t practiced much, and a stretchy trot, which we haven’t practiced but which should be good.

Overall, I’m excited but nervous for the show this weekend. I hope she does well in show jumping, and I hope I do well in dressage. I hope I can remember our tests! This will be a true test for me. 

Robbye and her puddle.

Catchup – Stirrupless #1, CC Schooling, Bareback, etc.

Spoiler alert!

I’ve been so bad at journaling lately!!

My last journal was from the Thursday before last, where I tried a bit of stirrupless riding and planned on incorporating that into my schedule – which turned out to be a bit prophetic. Cool.

Friday I had my lesson. I really need to start taking notes directly after my lesson, since details inevitably fall out of my head. But I do remember that the big thing in this lesson was to lean back. We also worked on leg yield (no real progress there, yet) and asking for tighter ToF.

One of the smaller fences we did. What a good girl.

Saturday we headed over to Twin Towers Horse Park for a cross country school! Turns out there was a clinic going on, which the organizers graciously let us watch. Wow, was it awesome and inspiring. Oh, to win the lottery!

Anyway, Robbye was amazing as usual. We started out on little logs, but those quickly became boring, and she didn’t put much effort into clearing them. We ended up going over some substantial stuff, and she didn’t care much at all. What a good girl!

Sunday I gave Rob the day off – we both needed it.

Monday was a bareback day – we worked on transitions and the tighter ToF and leg yields that we had worked on in our lesson.

Tuesday I rode bareback again! There were poles set between standards and the temptation was just too much – we actually did some little jumps over the poles! Of course, that turned out to be not the best idea…she got really excited we were jumping (yay for her loving it!), bucked, and popped me off. Whoops!

(I ended up with skinned patched on my elbows from the sand. Michele was making fun of me, like I was a little kid who had crashed her bike…lol!)

Wednesday we worked on walk->canter transitions – which were just okay – and hitting the stride up to jumps. We also jumped some weirder stuff – blue barrels, the raised gate, and a little oxer. Overall, a meh ride. I think I’m going to need help with both subjects. I don’t know how to teach her the walk->canter transition other than just getting her all revved up, and the chipping before jumps seems to be becoming a bad habit.

Thursday was yet another bareback ride. It was gross outside, so I was stuck in the indoor. It worked out okay, though – I ended up learning one of my two dressage tests for next week.

Friday was my lesson…and Michele took my stirrups! It was great. I was very pleased with her direction and with the progress I made, even if it was very frustrating. Notes:

  • I need to constantly feel like I’m leaning way back – my torso is way too forward. This will help in so many ways, by freeing up her front end!
  • I need to constantly feel like my lower legs are both further back and further away from her body than what feels right.
  • Canter transitions should not included me leaning forward. NO!
  • Get your damn toes in. woman!

So it was another great lesson, of course. I’m learning so much!

Saturday was our day off. Again, we both really needed it.

Kathy and Louie do the log pile. What a good boy!

Sunday we went back to Twin Towers for another cross country school! This time, Kathy came along with Louie for his first cross country school. Other than some trailer drama, it was a great day. Louie had some trouble understanding what he was supposed to do, but overall, everyone was amazing. Julie did a jump she had been nervous to do before, which I was so pleased with!

Yogi’s overjump. EEK.

Robbye and I got to do some combinations:

  • Jump down a little bank (the empty water complex), then jump out over a log. This one forced me to canter down the tiny bank, which scares me. I hate going down hills!
  • Jump over a (substantial!) rolltop, then up a bank, over a small log, and down the other side. Again, going down the hill…EEK! I wish Julie had gotten the down part on video, because I was very pleased with myself for it.
The rolltop we did. Probably our biggest jump yet!

Again, I was so happy with Rob. She just totally gets into jumping. We were doing a canter down a long lane, going past biiiig jumps, and she locked on to every single one like we were jumping it. Ya right, lady!

Whew, I’m glad I’m caught up! This week is reviewing for the show this weekend, learning my second test, not falling off, and show prep and a lesson on Friday. This weekend’s show is going to be awesome – plus, it’s at Twin Towers, so we may be able to school cross country again! SCORE!

Stirrupless #.5

We had a short, relatively lazy ride last night. There was a lesson going on in the indoor – with a girl who isn’t the best steer-er, and an instructor who doesn’t have the most respect for other riders – so we spent a lot of time staying out of their way.

But hey, it’s a big deal that we have the control to even do that. We’ve grown up a lot in the past two months! As Julie says, Robbye is pretty darn broke.

I did ride stirrup-less for a little while. It felt good, though it was quite different from riding bareback. Interesting, it was easier to post.

So, I think I’ll start adding a stirrupless ride per week to our schedule. So that means that most weeks are now going to look like this:

1 dressage lesson
1 bareback ride
1 stirrupless ride
1 outing (trail ride, show, event)
1 or 2 over fences rides, depending on what the outing is and how the outdoor footing is
0 or 1 “normal” flat ride, depending on what the outing is/jumping conditions are
1 day off.

EEP! That’s a lot of fun stuff.

Bareback #6

Man, Rob and I are killing this bareback thing.

We rode bareback in the outdoor last night. I expected drama, but I was so hot…I don’t think she had the energy to be dramatic. It was a sweating-in-the-stall kind of hot.

We worked on ToF, my position at the walk, and a bit of the 101 Jumping Exercises exercise from yesterday. Then…we cantered!!! The transitions were ugly – I was definitely confusing her, because I was so unsure, but once we got into it, it was awesome!! WOO!!!!

This bareback thing is preeetty awesome.