After our stadium round at Difficult Run, it was clear that we needed to work on our stadium. After watching the video of our course, and watching us warm up, Molly determined that the problem was me panicking and asking for long spots. We worked on this throughout the lesson, and had a couple of rough spots where I still panicked and asked for the long spot, but by the end I was feeling better and knew what I needed to work on and how to fix it. After working for about half an hour in stadium, we went out on cross country and schooled. We worked more on corners, which went really well. I however had a near dismount coming down to a skinny, we got a funny spot causing Octavian to twist in the air. I somehow hung on. In the end we ended up doing that exercise well. I really enjoy lessons, because I always learn something and love applying what I've learned to my riding. Below is an informal blog entry after the lesson:
"We had a pretty good lesson, it had a few bumps, but I always come away from my lessons with Molly feeling more confident, which is great. We did half stadium and half cross country, it only rained a little bit when we were in the stadium ring, but thankfully it didn't pour like it did on the way down there! We started off by doing a cross rail to a plank on a circle, worked on turning, we were fine with it, however we did work on keeping a consistent rthym and not taking flyers. She then put it up and we did it from both directions, she had me really sit in more of a 3 point position and work on really following with my elbows. After that we did more turning work with a little red vertical to a white gate type of thing, mainly worked on the same things while thinking about really keeping his canter active but together. Next, we did the oxer to swedish oxer and worked on keeping an active canter, we also went throught the triple, then did the barrels, to the swedish oxer. We briefly went through the triple. We did the skinny twice by itself, once as it was, and then she put it up, and then she put it with the red vertical and we worked on going from skinny to vertical and vertical to skinny (with 1 stride in between), we ended working on the barrels, to swedish oxer, to the stone wall. After that, we headed out to do cross country. Started out with the water, cantered through, came back, did the little verticle, 2 strides to the drop, then went over the rolltop, down the drop and then 2 strides through the water to the log. I had issues getting him straight to the rolltop. Molly said that it's a common fault of teenagers' to not pay attention to detail, (so slow down thought process and ride stride by stride), but I'm pretty determined to change that with me. After the water, we moved onto the sunken road. I asked her if we could do the one stride side (I have a feeling that I will see something similiar to that at Rubicon, or at least jump two strides down a bank), because I had some nerves about it from Southern Pines. We warmed up over the two stride, then took the one stride and he was great. Next, we moved onto the roller coaster bank thingy, and had a few bumps here. The first time we lost impulsion and didn't make it over the coop, I rode more forward the second time and we were fine. Then, we were supposed to come back through it the other way and take the skinny. We came through, I didn't ride too well, we got a bad line to the skinny, but he still thought about going and twisted in the air really funkily, and I nearly fell off but didn't (very close though!), so then we took the skinny by itself and he was good, and then we came back and did the whole exercise and it went well. We then moved onto the corners, which surprisingly went perfectically. After that we did some work with the ditch to rolltop and then rolltop to ditch, that was easy. We ended on doing a combination of skinnys, the log rails ones with two strides on a slightly bending line. Afterwards I asked her about the one star in the fall, and about moving up to intermediate. She said that Morven was a good one star to do, that I probably shouldn't move up before the one star because if we have a bad time for some reason it will hurt our confidence, and it would be best to give him 3-4 weeks off after the one star. So, that would put us moving up in the spring with a couple of prelims to warm up with. I asked her for specific things we needed to work on in order to work toward that goal, and she said consistantly getting right lines in stadium, and being able to come back from a canter-gallop, gallop-canter and land and then gallop away. She said that my eye was good cross country, but that he just needs to be more rideable in stadium, and that can be something to work on over the winter. We're also planning to have him vet checked before moving up, and will actually probably do that before the one star (do a flexion test to see if he's okay with moving up), and then see if he needs any injections etc etc. I'm really excited though because I feel like I have an approved plan now!"