Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Lesson on Paddy in Stadium: Building Blocks

Today we were able to build on what we learned yesterday, which was really good for me.

I had a little difficulty getting Paddy forward again—we were doing the related distances in JUST the “normal” striding. Finally, I got him “up”, and I was able to put in two more strides in both lines. I had a chip the first time, and Cathy told me to “fix the chip further back/put the chip in earlier”. I did the next time!

I need to remember to keep my hips back, especially when I jump.

I also need to remember to keep my hands low. For some reason, I want to carry them up. Must be a residual hunter thing.

“Make your body responsible!” On a moving animal, we can’t be still. We need to move WITH the horse.

It’s not about the jump, Karen and Cathy told us: it’s about the quality of contact.

Both instructors encouraged me NOT to react to what I just did, but to keep going. Again, for someone “trained in the autopsy” of student papers, etc., that’s a hard concept to master.

I asked Karen what to do when Paddy raised his head (which he was doing when I was trying to get up collected), and she showed me how to keep a flexible contact with “elastic arms”. “Once he learns that’s what he’s going to get all the time,” she said, “he’ll stop that.” I hope so!

In the accuracy questions, we were encouraged to hold our reins wide. That really helps with Paddy, who DID look at the barrel!

Karen kept telling me to hold my reins “like the tick on the steering wheel”. I didn’t get that image at all until she explained that it was the minor adjustments we make as we drive to keep the car straight. NOW I get it! Cathy called them “Finger aids”. I like that.

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