Friday, January 23, 2009

Jumping Night: Wednesday

I wanted to write about this before too much time went by because I want to remember. I think it’s helpful for me to write about my riding lessons sometimes as it helps me to remember the details and helps me absorb some of what I've learned. Might not be too interesting for people to read about, but it does help me.

So I wrote about Tuesday night with Ann. Wednesday night was riding with Kelly. I had never met Kelly before, so I really didn’t know what to expect from her at all. Well, like Ann, I found her session very effective and insightful. Her style was to really zero in and individualize the lesson, spending blocks of time on each person in the class, particularly after each jump course. Her style was to talk you through somewhat while jumping, but then to do a very thorough debriefing once your course was finished. First she would ask what you thought about it, what you felt had worked and hadn’t worked. And then she would follow with what she felt worked and didn’t work. A jump course always seems to go by in such a blur that I found this deconstruction pretty helpful. She was also very complimentary of me and of Lulu and I together, so I was pretty encouraged after all that.

A comment on Lulu too … I felt like we came together very, very nicely on Wednesday. We managed to ride very steady, no mad rushing, a few big spots here and there, but nothing crazy. Even her pacing through the combination (two fences that were set up as an in-and-out – jump in, and then it’s two or three strides and you jump out) was almost perfect by the time we were done. Combinations have been tricky for us most times, so I was very happy with that. Kelly was also very complimentary about my position over all, felt that I was pretty much always correct, never got in Lulu’s way and even the couple of times Lulu jumped big (and early) that I never let it get me flustered or that my position suffered much because of it. She was very excited because I (apparently) managed a perfect automatic release a couple of times. So I ended the lesson on a pretty great note and very happy with Lulu and our continued progress. Of course all this individual attention for each student in class made for a long lesson, but I didn’t mind because I felt like I got a lot out of it.

One last note: there is an older teenager (Alex) who has been in some of my lessons from time to time since September. She was riding with me again on Wednesday. She is a very super bubbly and enthusiastic kid and it’s very hard not to catch onto her mood. Anyway, so after our lesson she told me that Lulu and I are her new very favorite “couple” (horse & rider combo). Too funny – cracked me up!

So, overall it was a great week of riding. I was supposed to ride (free ride) tonight, but I was just so damn tired after very little sleep for most of the week and then practically NO sleep last night that I felt so lousy and just couldn’t do it. One of these days I vow that I’m going to get myself down to the barn on a Friday night!


Linda S. said...

Hey, that sounds like an excellent lesson! You're wise to write it all down so you can refer to it later. And an automatic release! I read George Morris' column in Practical Horseman every month and he's always saying riders should be using it. Congrats!

J said...

That's awesome! You are being looked up to. The stress. Don't screw it up.

I know. Nice.