New life goal: Be accurate 100% of the time.
I had a lesson on Sunday since I’m traveling all week (yay), and it ended up being a private lesson. After a year of riding her, I’ve really started to get a feel for Gracie’s canter strengths, i.e. where she is jazzing along, all sprightly and shit, and weaknesses, i.e. where she wastes energy to the outside and needs to be rebalanced, or when she gets stuck in turns, etc.
Now that we’re starting to move up to the meter classes, because she is so small, I have to be so much more accurate when putting her to the fence. We don’t really do a lot of long “leaps of faith,” so from that standpoint it’s not an issue. However, there is such thing as too close, and when the fences are that much bigger and wider, and she’s still “petite,” we can’t fumble it like we’ve been able to get away with in the past. We can’t risk hitting the first rail, or having her not be able to clear the second rail, especially with the questions getting harder in the 1m+ classes. We win our classes on turns and accuracy, and now that we have our “burn and turns” down, I need to work on our accuracy.
The nice thing about this is that it’s basically the same thing people have to learn on bigger horses when they hit 3’9″, so I’m figuring this out at a much lower, seemingly safer height. But it’s really put a fire on me to care more about exactly where we’re taking off from, all while keeping my eq on par so I don’t get in her way (small horse + big weight shift = rail down and wasted $$), simply because at the end of the day, I want to make Gracie’s life easier, not harder!
In the meantime, our homework is to do a LOT of framework at the trot and eventually the canter so that she can physically make it over the bigger fences. I’ll save the 1m triple bars for practice in lessons. #littlehorsebigjump