In my Saturday lesson with LAZ Annie and I were the seasoned eventing pair, with Cathy on Penny and Amy on Chaplin, both green horses. I jokingly let both of them know that I would be there to show them how it was done, and I think that Annie let it all go to her head.
We started out right off the bat with jumping a crossrail then rolling right into a line which I cantered out of! No jumping one fence several times to warm up. Then we cantered to all the other fences, not having trotted over them before, which is huge for me. Annie boldly cantered over the gate and both of the panels. I was able to sit up, think about riding to my fence, and having a supportive leg to get her straight and forward to the fence, and I swear I felt myself folding in the air like a little hunter princess.
Today since I appeared to be so confident !!!!!!!! We worked more on line and approach. Counting our strides to the fence, how far out to look to see the fence, when to turn, etc. LAZ even took her life into her own hands by standing in my way so I knew when to turn. Nothing like the fear of flattening your instructor to make you plan a turn! LAZ must've heard that I was interested in moving up as she discussed the things I needed to do to make for a nice BN round. We added in a two stride line, which we've jumped at home before, but not out here in the big open arena where I actually had to (god forbid) navigate through. Annie ran out once, then again just because she could, and LAZ finally stood at the end of the line to give me a focus point. It really helped me to understand that you have to see the end of the line before you jump into the line in order to make it through.
After that we took a long break and just stood and chilled with the other two horses worked over some simple courses of poles and X rails.
When they were finished I got to jump up both sides of the bank with no problems at all, then we went out into the mare field with the water jump. I think I've only done the water there as well as one small fence but today we strung together several fences in a row (which I trotted, but still!) that we had never seen before. Annie felt much different out in the field, kind of drunken sailor like. She didn't have any problems with the fences but I definitely had to make sure that I kept her in my tunnel of aids. Towards the end she wanted to canter a bit but I kept her to a trot since the grass was very long and I didn't want her to stumble and fall.
After that I asked LAZ if we were good to enter Starter so she pointed at this slightly enormous grey thing and told us to jump it. I stared it down the entire way with my leg off and decided to pull out (read: chicken out) at the last second because I felt like (well a chicken) I wasn't giving her enough support. We circled back and jumped it twice without any issues. Then we finished up over the red and white library which is probably the widest thing we've jumped XC and the jump that made me skip the May Flowers Derby because I was worried about "making it over." Guess what? No problemo!
One of the most important things I realized today (and a bit the last time we jumped) is that Annie will jump anything I point her at confidently as long as I am confident. So all in all I feel like I'm on a 17 hand horse and not almost a pony and we are ready to Rock N Roll at the June HT.
No pictures or video since everyone was on a horse!