Plus the irrepressible Alyssa was on hand to photograph and we get so much better pictures outside.
|color me surprised|
We started out walking and G was like "just walk him down through this EPIC LINE OF POLES" (not a direct quote) and I was like "LULZ NO PROBLEM" even though Courage has a long history of flipping his shit about poles.
But guess what?
He was totally chill about them.
I think G's approach helped--instead of just being like "ALL THE POLES", he had us do trot circles at the bottom of the arena, focusing on leg yielding out to lengthen Courage's stride and control his shoulders. Then I'd maintain the rhythm and contact and go right through the poles like nbd.
|THAT IS THE RIGHT LEAD|
I tried to not anticipate trouble and ride well, but as we cantered around on the right lead, Courage thought about flipping his shit a little and sort of got all hopping and bouncing backwards and like "OH HELLZ NO".
And G was like "is this normal" and I'm like "yeah..."
Because it is something he does under pressure, even if the only pressure is on his brain.
Instead, we added in a little crossrail at the end of the epic poles. The challenge was to make it the exact same ride for me and just let Courage do what he needed to.
It was surprisingly non-dramatic.
|my only defense is "possessed right hand"|
So we did it some more.
Then took a break, then did it more.
Essentially, we created the consistency and trust that Courage needed to be successful at this exercise and to set him up to be confident further down the road.
Then G made the jump into a wee vertical.
And Courage was fantastic. We were able to just have that same ride with a slightly bigger fence.
It all felt very natural and effortless, in the sense that I was so preoccupied with riding well that I had no time to think about much else.
And when I feel like I'm actually (somewhat) in control of the situation and can actually ride my horse, the nerves go away. So yes. Whole entire jump lesson and no fear. I call that a win.
And he's like "really, once we get this worked out, you'll move right along".
I have lots of takeaways and plenty of homework (HOW WILL I DO JUMP HOMEWORK MUST DRESSAGE SO MUCH DRESSAGE) and I'm ready to work on all of it. I can feel my horse progressing and that makes me happy.