A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence. ~Pam Brown
So Thursday and Friday I had booked off from work for the Leslie Law Clinic!
We had ridden with him last year, Sunny and I had just moved up to training level, and it was a bit rough! Sunny was still in her BOLT MADLY FOR THE NEAREST JUMP phase, and we were still working a ton on body control, pace, relaxation, and STRAIGHTNESS! I remember being so excited because we jumped the huge green and yellow corner for the first time last year, but the actual jump was preceded by about 5 runouts because of the above issues! Oh boy, last summer was like one huge epiphany for me, mostly on how I was riding Sunny at the time, and how she NEEDED to be ridden, and my riding has changed HUGE from then until now! I took SO MUCH away from his clinic last year! Now we take more of a "less is more!" approach, and it really seems to be working well!
I am VERY happy to say that this year, me and Sunny ROCKED IT OUT!!! Leslie remembered me and Sunny from last year, which I was surprised about. Probably because we were like watching a really bad circus a lot of the time:P Entertaining for sure, but just a little scary at the same time. Lol.
Day 1 was a part flat, part stadium. The bugs were HORRIBLE, despite drenching Sunny in Deep Woods Off right before I got on. So she was mega keyed up to start off with, but we managed to calm it down and actually have some really nice flat work! Then we did some pole work and fun little stadium exercises. We started with a serpentine of 3 verticals, concentrating on landing on the correct leads, and then rode down to different lines, one was a straightforward 4 stride line, one was a one stride combination, and another was a tricky 4 stride, 2 scary rainbow filler boxes stacked up with no wings as the first jump, maybe 6 feet wide, to a vertical. Sunny was pretty awesome!! Nailed the serpentine jumps and lead changes every time, and had a peek at the scary boxes on the approach but I put my leg on and she flew right over!! Aside from the heat and the bugs, I was pretty happy with how the first session went:)
Yesterday was the cross country session. Leslie likes to incorporate a lot of stadium jumps into his cross country work, to increase the technicality of things but still keep things more forgiving for the horse with a fence that can come down vs a solid fence. We started out in the field, progressively piecing together some little courses. We did the big green and yellow corner right off the bat pretty much, and Sunny flew over the short, more difficult side from both directions with no trouble at all!!
We moved onto the infield with the water complex next, and did some jumps in there and lines through the water, which Sunny rocked:)
Next we practiced a "coffin" with stadium jumps, and that we really well!
To finish we headed up the hill! We did the big brush/ditch, couple strides to the big UFA bank down, 4 strides on a 90 degree turn to the left over a stadium jump, and then around to the sunken road with a jump 1 stride before and after. Sunny was very excited and jumped huge over the brush, and then LAUNCHED off the bank, which was hilarious, but we still managed to make the sharp turn and the jump decently, and then Sunny had a rail coming into the sunken road but it rode well.
Leslie commented several times on how much Sunny has improved from last year, which was very nice to hear since I have been working super hard with her! He also gave me more tips and things to work on, to help with me body position and Sunny's approach to jumps which was immensely helpful. I was SOOOOOO proud of Sunny, she was super awesome, and there was basically no drifting like at our last event, which may have been because I was more aware of it and was correcting it earlier on. She was bold, forward but not crazy, just so ON and game and I really couldn't have asked for anything more:) ♥
Sunny and I over the big corner as Leslie Law looks on:)
Out in the field, doing some mini courses to start...
Infield and water complex... Excuse my duckface in the first photo, we had a really funky awkward jump over that fence, and I was probably saying something inappropriate! ;)
Another water line, jump, couple strides, drop in over the log, immediate right hand turn to the bank out, one stride to the red and green fence.
Couple jumps in the infield, the "Wishing Well" and the "Pimple Jump."
Last jump of the "coffin" we schooled.
And a video of it:)
Sunny LAUNCHING off the UFA bank:)
Into the sunken road, and she's making a grumpy face because she had the rail down going in.
We've got the Alhambra Summer Event coming up next weekend, and I'm pretty psyched for it!! Whoop whoop!! :D