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We Are Flying Solo

August 22, 2012

Don't Yell At Problems -- Solve Them

That was definitely the theme for our lesson on Saturday, so I will let you take my lesson as well!  Encore did very well and feels in fine form, just in need of more strength as usual.  Our warmup felt solid and I was particularly pleased with his left lead canter, which no longer feels like you are riding a washing machine out of balance.

Video hint:  if you want to see details, click the little gear at the bottom of the YouTube window and you can pick HD.

Trot trot trot...


As always, David had a gymnastic for us to start with.  Encore ate it like it was nothing, but decided he'd rather throw in a lead change AT THE TAKEOFF STRIDE so he could do the whole thing on his right lead, which he much prefers.  I never said he wasn't quick with his feet.


Then we were allowed to begin our courses.   Watch very carefully as I jump the first oxer here, I think you will see a magnificent example of equitation the way it should be -- a moment of harmony I don't even have words for.

Heh.  After Encore proceeded to scare himself by overjumping the oxers, we set about fixing that too; David always emphasizes breaking things down and being very methodical in your training, one careful footstep at a time.  In fact, he should just wear a t-shirt that says, "Be Methodical" and it would save him a lot of breath.

They are all green horse mistakes -- I was not supposed to let him run out and I was set to make him eat it, but he is so quick and athletic, his body moves faster than I can think!  Lesson:  never never never take a jump for granted.  Keep that leg ON even if you think you are already at the point of no return!  At least until he gets some more solid mileage this fall.

Hopefully, on Saturday, all our fixing will fall into place and we will be ready to eat up some jumper courses!


  1. I had an amazing display of similar Equitation last weekend. Unfortunately it was not in a lesson and at a HT. At least you did it the correct way and got the fixing in before hand. I totally get the feet moving faster than you can think thing cause I think that perfectly describes how my fall happened Sunday. And no matter how quick I get they are so dang smart they always find a new way to throw us for a loop. Looks like a great lesson. Have a great time this weekend!!

  2. Amy, glad you are ok after you fall, I missed that! But I thought I did very well in "riding like a stoned monkey" over that jump. Thank you!

  3. *gasp* Lost my breath just watching that--whatever happened to the whole "jump a course and then take a short walk break before the next course" thing? He just makes you keep goingandgoingandgoingandgoingandgoing! Mental note: Get self Olympic-length triathlon fit before ever stepping into the ring for a lesson with David O.

  4. Thank you for taking the time to edit and post these super videos.

    I've enjoyed and learned from all your lesson posts with David O. He is the kind of trainer I love, and you are an attentive and skillful rider. Great combo!

    Well done. :D

  5. Thank you, CFS, how kind! I will stalk David to the ends of the earth, LOL. His main focus is on the horse and teaching them how to get the job done. He won't pick on your eq unless you are off balance, he's not that kind of trainer. It's all about setting the horse up to be the best he can be.

    Frizz, did you not see our walk breaks? They are each 2-4 strides. Are you saying this is not sufficient to catch your breath?'s not. ROFL, that is a David "let him walk for minute" break. Only "a minute" = two steps.

  6. Haha. Loved your special eq jump. I laugh because I've done it too, so many times.

    Encore is such a cute guy!! I don't know why I didn't realize that before. I mean, I knew he was good looking, but I hadn't really watched his conformation in action before. He is so compact!

    Quite educational. I really like your trainer.

  7. Thanks, SB, that's funny that you say that, b/c when you stand next to him, he is BIG. But I bought him exactly for the reason you mentioned -- he is built to be balanced and compact himself to create power.

  8. I can't get over what a lovely jump that lovely, compact TB has. You sure picked a winner!

    I would last about five whole minutes in a David O. lesson. Would not be happening. :-)

  9. RW, I'll tell you secret: Triple Energy Power Bars.

    I am so entertained that everyone keeps calling him compact. Although I understand why -- when I first saw his picture, I thought he was about 15.3. Encore is, in fact, every inch of 16.2 hands and then some!!

  10. I liked the warm up exercises your instructor chose for Encore. Lateral exercises are so good for balancing and suppling a horse with a forward attitude and for keeping the mind busy.

    He really loves that right lead, doesn't he! I do not jump Harley very often, but he also prefers to take off from the right. I liked your "methodical" instructor and his approach to training the liverpool. He is a gem! Very kind and, um, methodical. ;)

  11. Thanks, Val, LOL! I've really been using the counterbend since and it has helped quite a bit -- it's just hard enough for him to force him to focus a little bit, which is very hard!!