Tuesday, May 15, 2012

coolest jumping lesson ever

Yesterday, Lucy and I ventured to Massachusetts for an XC lesson with Suzi Gornall. Suzi is well-known for her success as a rider and a trainer, and she has a lot of experience with OTTB's. I was offered the chance to split a group lesson with my barn owner and jumped at it - how cool is that?

I packed the trailer the night before and double checked that I wasn't forgetting everything. Lucy was a JERK and a half to get on the trailer so I am glad she's all I had to worry about! Once she finally got on, we headed out. Two friends came along with me to take photos and video (I have great friends!!). On the way there I kept going down the list in my head. I'd panic and think, "holy crap, did I forget my girth?!" and then I'd remember putting my girth in the trailer. I did the same thing with my boots and my helmet, panicking that I forgot both, but then visualizing exactly where they were in the trailer. I'm such a weirdo.

Lucy unloaded great (hey, at least we can do one thing regarding trailering correctly and without much flair), and I tacked up and walked up to the ring with my BO. We warmed up and then Suzi started tweaking things. Before long, I had a really nice trot where I felt Lucy wasn't way out ahead of me, and she was timing her steps to my posting, instead of the other way around. This was really the lesson of the day, and we touched on it at the trot, canter, and then over fences of all kinds. I was  worried that Suzi would ask me to jump things I wasn't comfortable with, but I didn't feel overfaced at all. I felt comfortably challenged, and I think that is the mark of a good instructor.

We started jumping by going through a line of 2 cavaletti jumps. It was a six stride line but Lucy wanted to do it in 5...of course. So we got her going nice and soft through that, doing it in six strides, and then we built on that with some natural obstacles. She jumped everything readily and happily until Suzi tacked on a simple stadium-style jump in the ring, probably 2'6" ish, with a green filler. Three strides out, Lucy felt confident. Two strides out, she felt confident. One stride out, EMERGENCY BRAKES! I almost ate it because I had started committing to it with my upper body already, but my heels saved me. It was a dirty stop though, which I do not appreciate! The second time into it, she stopped again, but it was mostly because I got nervous and was probably telling her subconsciously to stop. It was not a dirty stop, more like a fizzle out in the last three strides. The third time, I really put my leg on her and pushed her with my seat. She leaped over it and I got way left behind. The fourth time was somewhat passable; not perfect but I stayed with her at least. The fifth time was really good, though...lol.

Suzi really liked Lucy a lot. She liked her gung-ho attitude and I really liked the way she taught. She explained things well and had great insight. She complimented my leg, too, which made me blush. I want to go back!

Here are some photos (video is still being worked on):

that super scary jump...yup

I love my girl!
In other wonderful news, I WON the Tack of the Day/Eventing Nation photo contest, so THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me!!!


  1. yay for winning!!! glad the votes worked :)

  2. Yay! Suzi is super nice and one of the most professional trainers out there. Glad you guys had fun! :)

  3. Sounds like you had an awesome XC school. Love the pictures. Lucy is one pretty lady. I understand loading struggles. I had my own battle with Houston this morning. It took us an 1.5 to get him to load :/ not pleasant.

    Congrats on winning the TOTD GC!

  4. Great equestrian blog! Why not come over to Haynet an Equine Social Blogging Network for more to read your blog and follow? Come and take a look at http://hay-net.co.uk/ be great to have you there!

  5. I love Suzi... She was pivotal in getting Sugar and I started! She was the trainer who talked me into getting over my fear by doing the next right thing!

  6. I approve of everything about this post.

  7. Awesome ride you guys! Lucy is such a pretty mare. Congrats on winning the TOTD contest! :)

  8. Congratulations on winning Tack of the Day! Your entry was so funny, and showed your amazing velcro seat.
    Back in my show days, I used to forget things too. Twice I left my boots home. And the very worse? I forgot my husband once. No lie.

  9. I grew up riding with Suzi - she's the best! Glad you had a great time =)


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!