Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ditches and logs and sharks oh my!

This week I got to do some more gridwork as well as school XC and it was a fantastically positive experience.  I left my camera at home so sadly no video. 

I found that the poles in the grid rode better this week and I had an easier time keeping Annie straight, we didn't have any run outs and we maintained our forward pretty good.  I was actually able to count out loud through the grid, although it did make my brain spin a bit!

This week's grid was a one stride bounce one stride which we rode from both directions, it went up pretty darn fast.  Afterword I was amazed that I didn't spazz out at the size of the fences.  They weren't Olympic sized, but they were certainly bigger then something I am normally comfortable with so yayy! me.

Next we got to go out and school XC.  We started out going up a bank which rode easier then last time, I am getting the hang of what to do with my body up a bank and was able to stay out of the way a little bit better.  Then we started schooling jumps in the field. 

One thing I'm slowly starting to figure out, but have yet to act on, is Annie's bravery level.  With Nikki I would point her in the general direction of a fence and she would jump it no matter what I was doing.  Since she'd over jump anything that was scary looking and never really stopped at anything I would just take my leg off to avoid making her go faster and sit passive.  Yes, it makes much more sense in my head. 

So there we are trotting toward a shark's tooth jump.  I'm staring it down so it doesn't get up and move away without me knowing it, legs dangling loose.  Yep, went neatly around it.  Annie's not really SCARED of anything but she's not into doing things of her own accord. 

We also got to school the ginormous training level ditch.  I don't seem to have a ditch phobia, and nothing I've ridden had a ditch phobia so this rode fairly confidently for me.  I don't have a lot of experience over things that are flat so I had to figure out how to jump it with my body.  I also got to jump a really big log, which went really well the second time around.  Be Supportive. Be Supportive.  As well as a Skinny, but that was mostly because I couldn't figure out what the smiley face log was.  There I am trotting toward the smaller but very narrow log, trying to figure out if I saw a smiley face in the knots.  Wrong fence. 

We finished up over a combination of the bank and a table type thing.  It wasn't very big at all, but it rode hard for me because I would stare at the bank, then stare at the ditch, then go around it.   After some instruction I lined up a water trough in the distance, and just kept my eye on that.  Jumped up the bank, galloped over the table, presto chango, she's done a line.   

I think putting things together in lines, and actually having enough sense about me to think about what I was doing with my body really made me feel like an eventer this week and not just somebody pretending to be one.

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