My most recent fall
Welllll, we have definitely already heard this story! My most recent fall was not only one fall, but two falls, in very quick succession. If you haven't read that blog post, you can read it here.
Basically, Pony was a hot mess, and looking back, I should have taken a different approach since it was my first time riding her in a week. However, with that being said, I think a lot of times we get into a 'safety net' or 'escape route' when we're riding, and I am definitely at the point where I need to push myself to get past having that escape route.
What I mean, is that usually the first time I ask for a lope its in a medium sized circle on either end of the arena. However, I have realized that thats pretty much all I've been asking of a lope. Ive been doing circle, making them bigger and smaller, and playing with leg yielding in circles, but I really do need to push myself.
And more onto the point of having an 'escape route' is how many times do you ask for a lope in a circle before you do whatever pattern etc that you were preparing for? I definitely never ask for a lope without getting it in a circle first.
Which is totally great if your not comfortable with your horse, or are not a confident rider, or your horse is crazy, etc etc etc. However, I am at the point where me and pony are getting along awesomely, and I need to start asking more of her, and in turn ask more of myself. I don't need to circle her to make sure her lope is controlled everytime. I need to do whatever my plan was, and then if she seems a little rambunctious, then its a good time to circle her and settle her and then try it again. However, I can't always have a fallback and need to trust my riding ability more! I think a lot of the time its more habit than anything else as well!
Anyways, basically i had two ground poles, a cavaletti and a bunch of cones. I was trying to make a circle going through every pair of cones and over the ground poles and over the cavaletti. Once she jumped the cavaletti and threw me off balance and I gracefully fell and landed on my feet next to her. The second time, she jumped a ground pole before we got to the cavaletti, she zigged and I zagged and came off hard.
My trainer got on her (its my trainers horse, I have a full lease on her) and made her do the pattern, and then she changed it a little for me. She took out the cavaletti and shifted the cones a little so that I was still having the same type of pattern (I needed to make one side more square, rather than round, as if I needed to straighten out for the cavaletti jump) and then I did that for what seemed like a million circles, until Pony was finally not crazy and I had gotten her there.
Basically, it was a shitty ride. But those totally happen, who are we kidding? Me and pony are doing way better now, but if it wasn't for the bad rides, you would have no gauge of how far you've come and how much you have improved! Plus, that day really was great for me to work with pony on REALLY relaxing and figuring out how to read her. I honestly think it was a breakthrough day. The main thing I learned was 'sit back and relax, if your relaxed, she will figure it out. But you have to give her the chance to figure it out herself, she's like a teenager and she won't listen to you until she believes it'