We had our first lesson in a few weeks on Thursday. While I say it was a good lesson, we definitely had some awful moments. Peebs started out pretty quiet and relaxed, popping over a warm up cross rail like it was nothing. We moved on to a couple of the lines set up, a short five on the outside and then a forward bending four strides. It took me a couple tries to figure out how much to hold in the 5, and then what line to take for the four, but both were pretty much non-issues. It was more of fine tuning everything, which is a nice feeling to have instead of hoping and praying you'll make it down the line.
|Single diagonal on a short approach going left to right - should have been our hardest fence but was the easiest
We then did a rollback from a diagonal fence to an single on the outside. It was a right turn, our hard way, and we had to canter up the outside to the single, something Peebs has historically wanted to run at. He was surprisingly good; I was able to get the lead over the diagonal and while he was strong going up to the single he waited and listened to me. After a little walk break trainer wanted me to combine the bending line with the rollback and this is where the wheels fell off. Peebs woke up and wanted to run and not turn in the bending line, way overbending his neck and throwing his shoulders to the right. We also had some impressive head tossing involved. I made the decision to trot in and trot out of the line because no one wants to deal with a pony running sideways. Trainer also put out two placing poles to help keep Peebs straight, which we might have jumped over a time or two when we did a drive by of the second fence.
|Thank god for standing martingales!
While the second half of the lesson was crappy, I was happy with how I handled it. Even a month or so ago I would have frozen up and gotten scared with the head tossing and going sideways, or the running up the long side on the right. I don't like when Peebs does those things, but I can handle them now. We were able to work through them without getting into a fight, or me giving up, or trainer having to put the fences down to teeny tiny jumps or just poles. Yay for progress!