One of the first things I noticed as I walked into the ring was the gorgeous course set up! There was a lot to take in at first: the cavaletti lines set up in different spots, a 1 stride to 5 stride line of verticals, a square oxer, vertical, triple bar, the Aloha brush box under a vertical, corner, and a triple with the liverpool in the middle like a coffin.
Yesterday was fun!
We started once again with transitions within the gaits. Allison really drilled prompt and correct transitions. I found our trot/canter transitions much easier, and he was really coming back and forth quickly at the trot and canter. "Slow trot? Yes ma'm! Lengthen? Got it!".
We worked on separate parts of the course first. Of course we did the cavaletti, and we got it down much quicker obviously. Then we moved onto a figure eight pattern over the vertical and oxer. My need to become stronger and better with the closer distance showed up right at the beginning with this exercise.
Next we moved onto the coffin. I trotted it first and had to go over it a couple of times before he stopped pinging up over it and feeling a bit spooked. I had practiced over it a couple of weeks ago for fun. He got over the novelty of it quickly, trotting on it after two times. We put the whole coffin together, and he was great! The bounce cavaletti from the day before and warm up was the canter we needed for the coffin. Allison repeated bouncy canter a lot all day! We had a lovely ride through the bounce and one stride cavaletti and cantered right through the coffin easy peasy.
The corner was teeny and not a big deal except for my issues with the closer distance. We got it right twice and the move onto the full course.
The full course consisted of a right hand turn to the vertical, right hand around to the 5 to 1 stride line, 'gallop' on to the triple bar across the diagonal, then collect back for the coffin, back to the 1 stride and then a bending line to the oxer, rollback to the corner, another sharp rollback to the Aloha jump, and then the corner the other direction.
This course was so much fun to ride, and I really think it was some of the best jumping I've done on Ti. I got lost once prompting a "Be a thinking rider!" from Allison. I also flubbed up the corner, and it took me 3 times to get it right and continue onto the rollback-corner line.
This weekend really built on last month and the coursework wouldn't have been nearly as good without the foundation laid on Saturday. I always heard about how cavaletti were good to practice, but I didn't really know any exercises to do with them. Now I have something to work on, and I realize the need to practice A LOT over them. Definitely not just once a month for the clinic, and I even should be working over them multiple times a week. Maybe I should buy a book with cavaletti exercises! I'm also going to try my hardest (which is going to be challenging without a trainer for the next few weeks...until Bill gets back) to work on my riding to the closer distances. And it's really got nothing to do with learning to see my distance or a ride the distance but keep riding the CANTER correctly to get the closer distance.
I got a lot to work on, and I'm sad the clinic is over! :( But I really want Allison to be able to see an improvement when she gets back. And I want my jumping rounds to improve at my next event so I have great news to report to her.
ETA: One exciting thing about this weekend was the fact that I was getting the lead changes pretty consistently! (Or at least trotting and fixing it quickly). She only had to get onto to me a couple of times about getting it done. And we had some really nice ones both days!