Cross country cobwebs blown away & dressage breakthroughs

Nothing gives me that buzz like going XC, it’s simply THE best fun! Finally after more saddle issues (when do they ever end???) Bolly now has a jump saddle that fits and is comfortable for him and me and so we booked into a XC schooling clinic with my old chum Stephen Way. I’ve known Steve for years and his lessons are always a really good laugh, especially when I needed him to help me into my extremely tight back protector, you can imagine the scene!

Sweet baby angel horse Mega XC schooling today #tweseldown #xc #eventing #horsesofinstagram #horses #equine ##horseygirl

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We went to Tweseldown as the ground everywhere is so hard now but thanks to its green sandy soil this is always a great place to school no matter what the weather. I need to work on riding more with my legs and less with my hands, keeping my shoulders back. My legs and brain seem to suffer from a satellite delay always, so thinking with them first is what I need to focus on (in all phases). Bolly and I have only been XC a few times so we’re still finding our feet but got to grips and jumped some meaty and challenging combinations as the session went on. Here’s the video evidence….

Step to it! #bestfootforward #rolltop #tweseldown #horsesofinstagram #xc #eventing #like #follow

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Prior to this we had a lesson with my dressage instructor Karen Shepherd and had a real light-bulb moment. Working on submission she gave me a great exercise to do and it really helped us break through the on off contact and submission issues we’ve had. Concentrating on applying pressure with the inside leg, holding the inside rein and keeping the contact until Bolly submits and relaxes and becomes soft in the contact. Once the submission is there, then concentrate on establishing equal contact in both reins. On a scale of 1-10 with the contact it should feel like a 1 in both reins (1 being the softest). This really worked for us and Bolly did some great work, with a consistent outline and through way of going.

Next up we’re going to blow away the show jumping cobwebs and then find some combined training and dressage to do until the ground softens up again and we can look to enter an event. Do a rain dance with me!!!

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