Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Teaching and Learning - all sorts of fun :)

(from GRS Blog) Should I be worried when my coach decides to make my lesson a variation of the one I taught the night before? hahaha So last night I had a student who just had all sorts of lightbulbs going off :) hahaha they had an awesome trot in their flat work and then jumping were working on a gymnastic exercise where there are four fences (starting all parallel to each other) and each time they go through I change the angle of the fences so it goes from a line like | | | | to \ / \ / -- obviously the second requires a whole lot more skill to hold the line and keep the horse straight through the center. It's a favourite of mine because if you just come in at the end, it looks nearly impossible (should've seen the reactions from the hunter peoples!), but if you've been there for the build-up it usually goes really well and is an excellent confidence boost. So then they jumped around a normal course of larger-than-usual height using their new-found skills and it was brilliant. I was pretty excited about it :) N I was standing on the ground *g* hahaha So fast forward a few hours and my coach is in to give me a lesson. Our flatwork was also excellent (woohoo!). Did have a bit of a language barrier at one issue though that made me laugh. Has me on a 10-15m circle in trot to the right, then asks me to bring the shoulders out (pretty standard), then bring the haunches out (umm ok sure :). Then move sideways till the circle is closer to 20m. As I'm doing this, he asks me what movement it is. Actually took me a second to get my head around that (we were moving random body parts all over the circle today!) but ok even though we were technically on a right circle, we were bent left, haunches left, moving left. (still with me?). So therefore, we're in half-pass. The weirdest setup for half-pass ever, but hey why not? Why not? Well because apparently half-pass doesn't exist in the German system *g* Oops. So he asks me to explain/define traverse/renverse/half-pass and the differences between them. Which I did, sort of wondering all the while if it was a trick question... But no, legit question. hahaha he explained afterwards that he sometimes asks people to do these things only to realize they don't have a clue what he's talking about. ummmmm no, not new here. hahaha I may not be able to accomplish it, but I'll at least understand what I'm supposed to be accomplishing. So apparently half-pass, as I know it, is "full traverse" in his world. With traverse (as I know it) being little traverse or half-traverse (followed by rapid-fire german that I missed entirely). Ummmm okidoke. Regardless, my pony was an absolute superstar *g* And yeah - it'll be another three or four years before we'll be able to replicate that :) But I was still pretty impressed with her. Now it comes time to jump. He surveys the ring to decide what we're doing. "Well this looks interesting," he tells me w/ a clear question, knowing fully well the odds are good anything that unusual was my creation *g* So I explained how the exercise started and then how I changed it which of course was all it took for him to get it "oh ok, forcing them to hold their line down the center." Yup, pretty much all there is to it. N you can see he considered it for us for a second or so, but really, that exercise is an awful lot of work to set up and manipulate. So new plan. One fence. @ X (facing B/E). "Let's see how much fun we can have with one fence." hmmmm that sounds scarily like something I might say. To which my appropriate reply was "uh oh." N he looks at me w/ a half-smile "now why would you say that?" "Well because I've taught this lesson >;-P And I know exactly what it means to use just one fence. It means it's going to be far more challenging than even the most complex course and it's going to have to be perfect." "That's about right." Sheesh. My students would've gotten a kick out of it. For us it started with jump it straight, halt on a straight line, turn on the forehand, repeat. Ok, no problem. Then the fun part. Ride a canter 8, angling the fence each time -- and he draws in the dirt the angle he wants it on. So I learned my horse holds her line remarkably well (I knew this -- I've been training her to do so all along). That if she's going to fall off the line, it'll always be to the left (also knew this - that's still a work-in-progress). And that she can defy the laws of physics and jump from insane angles, in stride, that shouldn't even be physically possible (didn't know this!). hahaha I was pretty impressed by that last one. Overshot the turn and came in at waaaayyyy too steep an angle n she was just like "jump sideways? ummm ok Laur..." and off we went. The left drift is a bit of an issue though - really need to work on that one *sigh*. Anyways -- took a couple laps to get it consistently perfect but then she was absolutely amazing. Moving forward to the jump but landing in balance and actually letting me bend her on the turns so as to stay in balance for the next one. Pretty sweet :) I was just amused that for the 2nd time, my lesson was a "next step up" from one I had just taught a day or two before :) Great minds n all that. Ok off to teach again :)


hahahaha! of COURSE you hire a coach who is just as evil as you are :P


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