Updated: Apr 28
Saturday 9 November
I haven't blogged for a bit, which is very unfair on Fred because whilst we haven't been out and about competing, he has been working incredibly hard!
On Thursday 10 October we headed out to Nikki Stephens for a lesson, and I am delighted to report that we (Fred and I) did not show ourselves up. We showed how hard we've been working with Jayne and Nikki gave us all homework to go away with.
It seems that in the last 4 weeks, there's been a real 'step-change' in Fred's flatwork. It's like he/I/he&I just had a penny drop moment and he's just coming out every time trying harder and harder. The trot work is incredible. He's got the idea to lift and engage and although we're trotting a little in slo-mo the cadence and frame is there. Now we just need to take it forward and it will be a trot to die for! As for me, I definitely had a penny drop moment on something that poor Jayne has been trying to get me to understand for a year. A simple movement of gently touching the rein on the shoulder to move the shoulder. It was a real LIGHTBULB moment - almost want to slap your own forehead for not getting it sooner AND my outside rein is finally the go to rein not the inside rein.
But it's not just our flatwork that's coming on. Freddie's jumping is just getting stronger and stronger. We've had lessons where I've been able to let him work out the exercise and just relax and trust him. That doesn't sound a lot, but there's just this moment in your partnership where you realise you're both just in sync. I even hacked (my worst activity after OB) and again, he was leading, he stayed cool and when he got worried about a tractor I did the PK thing rather than the Panick thing and he relaxed and off we went.
I can't say enough how proud I am of this little dude. Today, I went to Jayne's jumping clinic at Mill Farm. It was the first time Fred's jumped a course since August and wow, he just popped and balanced and popped and even though the weather was BRUTAL, pouring rain, freezing wind and finally hail, we had no silliness, just good quality work. But its more than that, its partnership, its trust, it's complete confidence in one another. Even just that I CAN go somewhere on my own with him in the trailer, he loads, he waits, he stands nicely whilst I tack up or untack and sort the trailer ready to go home. I just LOVE everything about this little guy.