Feeling Good

So, despite the impressive bruise on my left thigh and the fact that I'm fairly sure I pulled every single muscle in my upper body, I'm feeling good.

Dino was kind of a snot warming up on the flat today, and it took a while and several discussions to get him actually moving forward. The plan for today's ride was to do a quick warmup, jump a couple fences, and then do a course or two, just like at a show.

The whole "quick warmup" part didn't really go as planned, but I did eventually get my pony cantering on request in both directions, so I called that ready and hit the course that Rachel had built: a super-inviting, confidence-building, no-pressure course with just one 2'9 fence.

Entering the ring and starting a jump course right away is something I need to revisit again, because after not working on it since last summer Dino was a total pill about it. We ended up trotting the first fence of the first course, but after he figured out we were JUMPING, the pony was much more forward!

In short, the course work was awesome. I felt confident, Dino felt confident, we trusted each other, and I never once thought about him stopping. He jumped everything I pointed him at, adjusted his step when I asked, got all his lead changes, and was generally fantastic.

We took a short break, and then moved onto Rachel's Circle of Death exercise.

You may have heard of the Circle of Death.

It's an exercise in which one rides over a single fence on a circle, the goal being to maintain a good rhythm, pace, and bend throughout. Rachel's version takes that one step further, and incorporates holding the reins in your non-dominant hand, with the dominant hand held behind your back, forcing you to steer with your legs and body.

Holy cow, was this tough! It was SUCH a good exercise though, and the couple of times I "got it" and rode it correctly, I could feel such a positive difference in my pony. This is definitely something I'll come back to!

I actually feel ready for the show on Saturday. My plan for the rest of the week is to trail ride and/or do light flatwork in the ring, and maybe work on our opening circle a bit, but we're definitely done jump schooling for the week. My main concern is getting Dino moving in the show ring, but the jumps will be so low that we can trot the first fence if we need to. No big deal. If I get him moving outside the ring right before our rounds, getting our canter shouldn't be a huge issue.

The flat class, however... I am planning on DOMINATING.


  1. The circle of death always causes me anxiety initially but once In the groove it's the best. Completing any exercise that has "death" in the title is a victory! ;)


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