Our last lesson of 2018 was a doozy in the best way. It was a sort of year-end celebration/day to mark the end of my lease on Duke. Trainer B put the jumps up and pulled out the scary skinny so we could do some XC-style practice in our indoor.
We started out with something called “the spider.” It was not a large jump by any means, but the shape and number of poles made the horses all look twice. It also helped them jump really round with a nice bascule. Plus it was just really fun!
Then we moved on to an oxer-to-skinny line.
Once we’d gotten the horses used to jumping through it straight, Trainer B made it even more awesome / really difficult by making us weave around other standards in between the oxer and the skinny.
Wowza, it was tough! But it was an exercise that rewarded good forward riding and good use of the leg. And when we did it well, it felt really badass.
We did it both directions – weaving right after the oxer, and weaving left after the oxer. There was more than one drive-by of the skinny at first. But once the horses understood a bit better (and their riders got a little firmer with them), it was pretty smooth.
It definitely made me wish for warm weather and real cross country schooling. It’s only been two months since the last time I did any cross country but already I can tell I’m rusty. The muscle memory and ‘grr’ boldness wasn’t quite as readily available as it was at the end of the show season. Oh well, I eventually found it during our lesson!