For those of you who don’t know, I’m a big fan of Snow White. Any girl who can get animals to clean her house and loves carbs is a woman after my own heart. Also, one of my middle names is LeBlanc. ‘Nough said.
Anyways, I had a lesson on Gracie yesterday that was challenging but super fun. Check out course 1, and follow me here:
My instructor was kind enough to give vague instructions here, so I used my new and improved strategic jumper brain to figure out my best course of action. The broken line from 1 to 2 was a 6, then I had a rollback to 3. Now, my original plan was to slice fence 3, take the direct route to the right side of 4, and have a sweeping inside turn (THAT part was mandatory and very challenging) to 5, then rollback to 6, broken to 7.
As you might have guessed, that original plan didn’t work out so great. I had a bit of a wider swing approaching fence 3, so I sliced it going from right to left instead of left to right. Whoops. However, I used that to my advantage and creatively put in 4 strides (instead of 2-3) and made a angle like < to slide fence 4 going left to right, then turned left after I landed, which conveniently gave me a ton of time to take the inside turn to 5. Bwahahahahaha my evil [plan B] worked! Except my instructor then asked everyone not to do that because I sort of maybe cheated giving myself so much time around that inside turn, which realistically may or may not have helped my timer in a jumper course. Details, man….
As a way to make this course harder, my instructor then flipped the course, raise the jumps, and we jumped the mirror image, like so:
No big deal, right? WRONG. So wrong. Here’s where it’s wrong. You see that fence thats between 4 and fence 1/7, the one diagonally placed? That’s only 8 feet long. With the original course, I had some room to make the wide turn back to fence five. Now you see that fence between 4 and the wall fence, also diagonally placed? That one is 10 feet long, which you don’t really notice until you’re midair over fence 4, see that you have 2 feet of less room to turn, and naturally start thinking F*** TURN FAST to get to 5. Naturally.
Luckily Gracie is a saint and can spin on a dime, so turning her in midair worked out great. My instructor was really happy with me bringing my hand down to turn in the air, allowing her to bascule over the fence instead of tossing her head up and jumping flat, and I did get one hell of a turn out of it (nearly lost my seat for a second, she’s so quick!).
Other than that, it rode pretty much the same. The fences were higher than course 1, I think maybe 2’9″ but I have no concept of fence height anymore. Shit looks small now, and I don’t hate it.
Also, speaking of losing my seat, the Devoucoux is growing on me. I really wish it had a wider seat (damn fat ass) but I can’t say I have any other complaints! I am having some trouble getting a Swanky Saddle name plate on it though. Has anyone else had this problem before? I tried hammering it in with a rubber mallet (it’s all I could find, I swear), and that was an epic fail. I’m trying the hammer next, but if anyone has any tips for how to get a nameplate on those damn french saddles, *putin* I’m all ears!!