|Sunrise over the Peace River|
|We're on a boat!|
|Over the suspension bridge that always makes me nervous|
Got to love self reflection!
|Sunrays in the morning|
For the rest of the lesson, the objective for all of us was to ride the track and allow the horse to figure out the fences. As long as we set our horses up in a nice rhythm and rode our track, we would have perfect rounds. It was pretty amazing, to tell you the truth. I'd get Koda set up in a nice trot or canter, keep my reins soft and my legs off completely, and off we'd go! He would set himself up for the distances, and as long as I stayed soft and allowing, we'd have no chips or launches. Every distance was perfect, as long as I didn't get in HIS way. Even if I picked up my reins a little, or changed the pressure of my leg, we would get a slightly awkward distance. It was truly amazing and was a HUGE turnaround point for me. As I focused on the track, Koda was allowed to do the job I was asking him to do without me nitpicking in his way.
|Autumn colours on the drive home|
One last thing that really resonated with me during this clinic was we are in the business of TRAINING our horses, even if we don't consider ourselves trainers. There's a lot of emphasis in our world about the rider seeing the distance to a fence. During this exercise, every time I saw a distance and did something about it, we'd chip or launch, but when I left him alone, he did it himself. Essentially, he knows his stride length better than I do, and he can figure it out better than me. Yes, I'll still ride certain fences certain ways, but after this clinic I think there is a lot to be said for just riding the track and letting the horse do the job you're training it to do.
Expect more from yourself, that's the only way you'll go further
Consistency is key
Play to Koda's strengths - lightness and consistency
Allow Koda to flow through your hands
Allow Koda to take you to the jumps
Allow Koda to do his job!