Leave it to Trainer B to make up the twistiest, turn-iest, loopiest course ever when given a setup with an outside line, an outside single and three diagonal singles.
You could make this pretty hunter-y by doing outside line home (when home is the left side of the image), diagonal oxer away, single oxer home, diagonal vertical away, diagonal vertical home.
To which, I’m sure, Trainer B would say you’re not making it
hard fun enough.
So instead, our course went:
The in of the outside line; 12-ish meter circle; out of the outside line; diagonal oxer away, bending to the vertical into the corner; the middle diagonal vertical heading home; back around to the in of the outside line (now going the other way); rollback to the single oxer heading home.
Confused? It looked kind of like this:
You may still be confused based on that work of art.
But it was really fun! We started out by putting small pieces of this together, such as the outside line with a circle in the middle, and the bending line from 3 to 4. The first time I tried to do that bending line, Duke took over the steering wheel and went ‘backwards’ over jump 1. Still a bending line, just…not the right one.
He did this another time when we were doing 6 to 4 (based on the numbers above). It was like he just put his hooves in his ears and went “NO I GOT THIS, WE DO THIS LINE NOW.” It was fine, the jump was an itty-bitty crossrail, but it did take me by surprise and force me to sit up and be clearer about where we were going. By the end he did everything beautifully.
Duke loves the long spot, and we did take a fair number of fliers toward the beginning of the lesson. Trainer B had me shorten my stirrups and also noticed that I was doing this weird thing where I was pushing my stirrups out as we approached the fence. In my mind, I was using leg and pressing to the base but in reality I was not. So once we sorted out actually using my leg, we made it a great spot much more consistently. Imagine that.
Do you ever have those lightbulb moments when you figure out something that seems simple but makes a big difference?