Jen was having me ride with a loop in my reins and thinking about squeezing my hands closed for the half halts instead of pulling back. It was so hard to have loopy reins and for the whole lesson my hands were my main focus. It went better than I thought it would, and he softened and relaxed by the end. Since my hands and elbows tend to be my weak areas (when I get nervous I lock my elbows and shorten my reins) I was really proud of myself for working thru it.
After warming up we worked on a line that should have been a 5, but we didn't have the pony power and went for a 6. The approach to the first fence was short and uphill, and combined with our hand/bit issue I just couldn't get him forward enough for the 5. Once we got a couple nice 6's with a somewhat happy pony we moved on to a bending line in 4. For the most part it was pretty nice, as long as I had him forward to the first fence.
We did the bending line a few times then Jen wanted me to do a rollback to a 3'ish oxer. I wasn't too sure we could do, we would have to turn immediately upon landing I was sure I would pull on his mouth too much and piss him off. The first, and second, time we took the outside turn and it was pretty nice. I didn't even care that the oxer looked big.
Ignore crappy cell phone quality. The inside turn was before the red oxer
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