Tuesday, February 28, 2017

2/19/17 Day 2: A New Work Ethic

I came to lesson the next morning with a new attitude, no longer completely in despair after a good night's sleep.

Nearly square, nearly all the time now!

The first thing GP Trainer asked me was if I got to watch yesterday's videos. I told her I did, and man, I've been going easy on Penn in the canter. It made me wonder if I should do two day trips a month where I'd drive 10+ hours in one day for a lesson so I can check in more often. She said, we'd love to have you and can totally do that, but we really don't need to. Just video your rides to make sure you're on the right track.

SoloShot3, you need to hurry the f up! GP Trainer just ordered a Pixio and it was waiting for her in FL. Apparently Pixio does better indoors, but SoloShot3 is better in almost every other way, especially in outside range- I keep seeing that Pixio only has a 330' range. Husband was willing to chip in for the SoloShot3 because it could track him over an entire autocross course (further than 330').

Trot work:

Anyway, back to lesson. We started with the trot... and it was spectacular. I was thrilled that all the pieces worked together so well, and I was able to influence his medium trot and make it better, all on the same diagonal. GP Trainer was pleased too, she said we could have taken that work anywhere and done well. Riding this kind of work is just plain fun. GP Trainer said to keep raising my expectations with his trot, even though this is good work.

Suffer through the screenshots. I loved riding this work.

Medium Trot
Half pass magic
The shoulder could have led more in the second half, but super happy.
Shoulder in

Just super happy with it all. Very much improved.

Canter Right

On to the canter! I brought new determination to lesson with me- I will make him sit the hell down by sitting up myself and really riding it! #ExpectMore

This was also where I asked her if I was ruining his walk- she said no. We're not trying to fix a lateral walk, he's just doing that as an evasion to the job at hand. When the walk clears up, the canter will most likely have cleared up too.

We rode the canter in shoulder fore- I found it MUCH easier to maintain the jump in shoulder fore... probably because doing that most likely put him straight and not actually in shoulder fore. (Put a big star on this- I've been using it religiously at home and it is helping a ton. I get better quality work a lot faster.) I also love the hop he's getting in his hind end when it's really working. I mean, the hop up front is great too, but it's so cool to see that he's still picking up his feet behind too.

One day I'll have Mom learn to zoom in. Until then, you get gif's of awesome transitions from very far away. You'll just have to click on it and make it bigger. Sorry!

This is actually from Saturday lesson's walk break, but I forgot to include it. He's like, "More rein please." and I'm like, "I'm already holding them at the buckle." It's how you know the horse has been working hard sitting! He wants to stretch way down.

Why Yes, I Would Love to Ride the Left Lead Struggle Bus Some More

To go with a long left lead video (which isn't even all of the left lead work we did, I cut out the start to cut the length, sigh), GP Trainer basically said this: All of these little failures are perfectly fine because while this is about teaching him to sit more while cantering, it is more about him being able to take the pressure of me asking and continuing to try. He was continuing to try, however I gave him a couple taps with my whip to help him dig a little deeper. He was riding the struggle bus Sunday for sure!

Just before he broke to trot, lol.

After lesson, I took Penn for a walk in GP Trainer's XC field. Maybe one day Penn will jump well enough (and I'll be confident enough) that we can jump all the logs on her little gymnastic loop of logs. The first image of the below gif has a hexagon shaped group of big logs. I don't want to jump those, lol. And watch for the couple pics where he's looking left and a log is progressively getting closer. Yes, I had to stop him from walking into it and tripping. #NotAJumper

I walked him over the little log on the ground after he was distracted, and we trotted to two little uphill logs at the end! And he jumped! Well, he jumped the first one and kind of tripped over the second one. I'll just say his butt was tired. ;-)

Penn moved during the panorama... but this one turned out the best for the background shot, lol.

So the homework is to keep hacking away at the canter. More sit. Hold it longer. Round and round we go. Apparently one day I will look back on the struggle and laugh. I sure hope so! Writing yesterday's post put me in the same depressed mood I had post-lesson. Glad this one was a bit more determined to do better.

We'll be going back to GP Trainer's in two weekends. Let's see what we can do in 3 weeks time!


  1. This opportunity is so amazing for you both. Love reading the wrap ups.

  2. um i wanna jump all those little logs tho!

    but anyway, yay for such an awesome lesson and so much validation. good luck figuring out the at-home recording device!

    1. I knew you'd want to go jump all the logs! They range from like 6" to 2'6"ish I think. There's something for all the prancing dressage ponies! She also has a pond for swimming (like sit on the horse and swim), so there's a ton of non-dressage fun to be had!

      I'm thinking for now I'm going to pop my helmet cam in the corner with its bendy tripod. Last I heard was the SoloShot3 was headed for mass production in March, pending a good quality control check. I'm hoping it actually does that, so I'll have it by May or June.

  3. I'm really enjoying reading these and it's so nice to see that everyone has struggle bus moments. It gives me hope!!

    1. Everyone is on the struggle bus, for one thing or another. Maybe it should be called the normal bus!

  4. Such great progress! Love the shoulder fore tip, because like me you're not aaaaactually riding SF... he's just straight. The tricks we play on our brains to make it all work right, lol!

    1. Oh the tricks we play! It was neat to feel shoulder fore... yet look straight on into the mirrors and see... he's straight. Funny how you get used to crooked, so that straight actually feels crooked!