Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hands Breakthrough

Peebs and I had our last lesson and jump before our show on Saturday.  I wasn't in the best of moods going into my lesson.  Work drama, barn drama, and Tia have left me on a roller coaster of emotions.  And my lesson last week wasn't so great; damn you hands!  But this weeks lesson was actually really good and we fixed (most) of our problems from last week.

Last week we I had a meltdown trying to canter a single diagonal going right to left.  Peebs is worse going right, and historically has been strong and bargy going up the long side by the barn.  So of course, trainer sets the fence so we have to come up the long side by the barn. I wanted to pick and pull and get high with my hands, all things guaranteed to piss Peebs off. So he braced against me, got strong, and I got more handsy. We went back to trotting it and ended ok, but couldn't find a happy canter to it.

This week we started with that fence, first trotting and really focusing on finding my line.  I want to turn early so trainer stood where I was to turn.  It felt super late, but made the offside so much nicer. The first time cantering it I turned too early so our line was wonky, but I kept my hands down and didn't pick at him. Peebs was awesome and added to the fence and landed quietly.  The next time I turned when I was supposed to, and the fence was perfect. It was 1000% better than last week.

We then did an outside line.  We trotted in the first time in a short five then cantered in.  I saw the short distance coming in, and miracle of miracles, kept my hands down and waited for it. My go to bad habit when I see a bad distance is to pick my hands up, which raises his head, which makes the distance harder to see, which makes me get handsy.  Not a good cycle.  I had to hold for the four, but again, I managed to keep my hands down and Peebs happily loped down the line.  Trainer said I did exactly what I needed to, and that while the line wasn't perfect, I schooled it perfectly.  I rode the short, icky distance coming in and kept him packed for the short four while keeping his mouth happy. Peebs is more than willing to do the short stride, or add a stride, I just have to learn to ask for it with my hands down.  Once I raise my hands and his head comes up, its all over.

We finished by doing the little white fence above.  It wasn't as good as the other diagonal or the line.  I couldn't get Peebs off my right leg on our approach but, for the most part, was able to keep my hands down even with a bad approach. On the landing side we had a tight turn around an outside fence and Peebs kept landing on the wrong lead.  Between the tight turn and a lead change Peebs got worked up and we had to halt on a straight line a couple of times.  As you can see above, he didn't really like that.


  1. I feel like every ride I have a mini hand breakthrough but it only partially carries over to the next lesson. I hope yours sticks!

  2. Why are hands so insistent on being involved all the time? I swear I'd be a great rider if my hands would just mind their own business!