The Answer Is Never Less Leg

Had an AWESOME lesson tonight, really channeled my inner German.

We did our typical warm up of walk, trot, canter, circles of many sizes, sitting trot, extended trot, extended sitting trot (okay that one was hard but my abs feel awesome now), etc.

Afterwards, we started our walking our courses. Literally. On horseback. Follow me here…

Apparently walking over fences is a real thing, and they can ask you to walk a fence up to 3ft in an eq class (WTF EQ RIDERS??)

We’ve done it maybe twice before, but sort of as a way to throw our horses off and have them listen to us in the middle of a course, never to really focus on how to do it if you needed it in your back pocket.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 10.18.26 PM

Wasn’t too complicated of a course or anything. We warmed up over fence 1, at a walk of course. First time went better than I thought. Since I’ve had a lot of trouble keeping my leg still, I was worried that it would slip back with the sudden impulsion of jumping the fence from a walk, even though it was only 2 feet. But omg, it didn’t slip! I’m going to associate this success with 2 things:

  1. I have a magical pair of navy blue suede chaps that I swear glue me to my slippery saddle, and I wore them for the first time in like 5 years today. It was nostalgic and wonderful.
  2. I sort of rolled my ankle forward stepping off a curb in heels the other day (the term is “plantar flexion” btw, in case you’re wondering which way that happened), so now keeping my heel down actually feels better! Someone please trip me more… #donttextandwalk

Moving on, we did fence 2 away, and it went pretty well, nothing odd. Then we started building, and I’ll just fast forward to the full rounds:

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 10.24.04 PM

At this point the fences were racked up to about 3′, give or take. So we did the broken to the oxer to the quarter line. Pretty simple, but my instructor wanted impulsion and power.

Well, I gave it to her! Instead of just taking a few strides then my first fence, I started out by taking the long way around and really built Gracie up until I felt like I was flying, then managed her to fence 1. Went to fence 2, but first time around, I cut it a bit. Thank God I have an athletic horse because we still squeezed 4 strides in there when it should have been 3.5. Came around to the oxer, and took more than I gave with my leg. SO mad at myself for that! I have to consciously remember that even when I manage and take with Gracie, I CANNOT lose my leg! Especially with her, she’ll hop in place and that’s so wasteful. Anyways, oxer still came out fine, just not as powerful as it could have been. Then went down the line, no issues with the 4 there.

Round two: I swung out wider to the broken line, but because I had enough impulsion and stride, I was able to still get a solid take off point. Came around to the oxer, it was a little gappy, but I was decisive and stuck like glue to the saddle, so it went great as well. Finished up over the lines, nbd.

Overall, I was very happy with the glue in my seat (thank you magical chaps), and happy with my decisive courses.

Onwards and upwards!



  1. ugh it’s always more leg…. i struggled with that so much in my last lesson – like somehow i can not keep my leg on for the last stride or two without concentrating SO HARD haha. sounds like you had a good ride all the same tho (and walking fences is crazy lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like right before the fence? Totally with you on that! I’ve gotten better at that and over fences, but apparently right after a fence, I now ride like a soup sandwich. It’s always something though isn’t it 🙂 Our sport would be so boring if we were all perfect!
    Also, you should definitely try walking fences, it’s the weirdest focus, like you have to have energy but be calm…. just a giant oxymoron if you ask me lol


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