Stadium: Old Habits Die Hard
Dino warmed up absolutely beautifully for stadium. He was locking on and attacking the schooling fences and jumping them with extreme enthusiasm. It's a shame that Becky didn't catch any of it on film, because he was jumping incredibly well! I was also feeling pretty nonchalant about the course. There weren't any crazy turns, the jumps looked small to me, and I was just not at all worried about it. After a stinky dressage test, I was ready to get out there and just jump some stuff.
I PROBABLY should have worried a little bit more, or maybe had more of a concrete plan for the course, because I totally reverted back to my old habit of "hold to the base".
Instead of riding forward and flowing out of the turns, I tried to control the canter too much without adding enough leg, which resulted in a lot of close distances. It wasn't UGLY or SCARY... just not quite as flowing and soft as we've been jumping lately. That beautiful, forward, decisive ride into the big grid in our last lesson? Yeah, this wasn't even close! Not terrible, but again, not our best. The only really BAD jump was Fence 6, before which Dino saw the long one, I saw the short one, and we totally mis-fired and bunny hopped the thing.
Thankfully my pony has springs in his feet, and he easily cleared it despite our awkward approach, and not going clear was never even something I thought about. I just assumed we'd go clear, and we did, but next time I want to do it BETTER.
This means better planning before setting foot on course. Not just thinking about where I want my turns to happen and what our track should look like, but when and how to set up that Magic Canter so that all of the fences come up out of stride, instead of me having to do damage control and manufacture a distance because our canter isn't quite right. If we can do an okay job over a 2'6" course with me hardly trying, imagine what we can do when I actually put forth effort!
Time for more coursework at home!