Friday, September 20, 2019

A Tale of Two Lessons: Lesson the Second

Monday my trainer was supposed to come out and do one last ride on Scottie since A was coming home on Tuesday.  I had hacked Peebs before my trainer came out and had started grooming Scottie for her. She works a full time non-horsey job and had gotten stuck leaving the office so she was a little late getting out to the barn. She made a comment about me getting on Scottie since I was still wearing my boots and chaps and I joked that I would after she got him all tuned up. That lead to her saying I'm more than capable of tuning him up and that she'd give me a lesson on him.  So that's how my impromptu lesson on Scottie happened.

Scottie was bred to be a pleasure horse and did a few years on the open schooling show and breed show circuit before flunking out. He hates flat work and needs an incentive in order to motivate him.  He loves to jump and when A first got him, they'd use poles and even cross rails to get him going.  He's much better about flat work now, but since he was off for a few months earlier this summer he's been doing flat work for the past month. And that's apparently his limit.

loves the jumpies
Our trot work warm up wasn't bad, but he was definitely sucked back.  When I asked for the canter he started reverting back to his Naughty Scottie ways and my trainer told me to aim him at a cross rail. I asked her if she was trying to kill me because he hadn't jumped in three months and I didn't want to be the guinea pig taking him over his first one. Add in the fact that I've never jumped him before and I was pretty nervous trotting up to the cross rail. You can see below how exciting his first fence back was.

Yeah, I really shouldn't have been as worried as I was. We did that same cross rail a few times while Trainer broke down the grid and set up a diagonal fence and an outside line. We then went to the line and did a very wiggly seven strides. For as stiff and unbendable as he can be on the flat, Scottie felt like a limp noodle wiggling down the line. Peebs tends to over bend and drift, but Scottie felt all over the place.  It took me a few tries to figure out how to ride him straight and when I did we were able to leave a stride out and get 6.  During one attempt I really revved him up and we almost did a 5.

We did a small course of the outside line to a single diagonal to the outside cross rail a few times.  Scottie has flying changes but I wasn't able to get him to do any.  I think it's a combo of him needing more strength and me needing to ask harder. But I didn't worry about it too much since he's just coming back into work and just focused on trying to clean up the simple changes. I was surprised at how easy it was to see distances on him, once I got him going. He tends to have a slightly smaller stride but his pace and rhythm are pretty steady and consistent so once I figured out how to get him straight the distances were there.  I had a lot of fun jumping him and hopefully A will let me play with him again.

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