Michael and I both had great rides on Tuesday night!

We shortened Michael's stirrups by 2 half holes, and his leg is MUCH more stable as a result. He's been figuring out where in his body he needs to be strong (his core) and that if he holds himself there, he doesn't need to maintain a death grip with his legs. Dino appreciates this soft, strong ride and has been offering to go round at the walk and trot without Michael even asking.

I hate him a little bit.

He's also been working on his half-seat at the canter, and has been able to maintain a light seat for almost the entire time, which is great! Michael was doing so well, I decided to send him through the grid.

We started with just the crossrail bounce and left the last fence as a ground rail. The first time through Michael was a little apprehensive, not knowing exactly how the bounce would ride, and Dino picked up on that and slowly crawled to a walk, stepped over the first fence, and halted squarely in the middle of the bounce. 

Take two was much better, and after Michael jumped through the bounce a few more times, he had a huge smile on his face. I set up the last fence, and they sailed through a few more times. Both boys had a BLAST, and the grid was a great tool to build Michael's confidence and solidify his position.

I hopped on next, and had Michael set the last fence in the grid back up to a 2'6" vertical. I trotted and cantered around to get myself acclimated, and then hit the grid. Dino jumped through like a total champ, of course. So I asked Michael to put the last fence a hole higher. 2'9", easy. Up again. 3'. Not a problem! I asked for the jump to go up one more time, and Dino and I popped through the grid, and over the 3'3" vertical, with no issues whatsoever.

That was the first time I've jumped over 3' in a year. And I survived! I'm really happy I chose to increase the height using a grid, since it didn't give me time to worry about finding a distance, get scared, or pull my pony down to a stop. All I had to do was set him up, put my leg on, and go!

Every good ride puts more money in my confidence bank, and Tuesday's ride was a huge deposit!


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