Lately both Jimmy and Elizabeth have been focusing on developing my leadership skills when it comes to riding Birdie. I am not to bully him, but I am to ride him. This means I am not allowed to settle for less than what is asked. Incidentally, this starts with asking in the first place, which I still regularly fail to do.
What a surprise to find that the theme of Lucinda's clinic was take control. The first day was excellent and Birdie and I got so much out of it. If you ride with Lucinda be prepared to get yelled at and when she tells you to do something, she means it. She's not going to settle for anything less. This was good for me and the Bird.
Elizabeth is right, he is happier when he knows I am in control. It's too much pressure for him to have to be the decision maker. Now let me make clear this is not encouragement to over ride my horse. To the contrary, one of the things that makes it so difficult is that it's the correct amount of aids to get the job done. No more and no less. Jimmy has been on me about this for the past 60 days.
Isn't it amazing that these three great instructors see the same hole in me and my Bird? It's the greatest thing in the world for us. Three experts working on the same problems from different vantage points.
Now for the best part. Yesterday was Christmas in April and I haven't even gotten to Rolex yet. I leave tonight. Ditches, our burden to bear until yesterday. I am proud to say that my Bird no longer has a problem with ditches. I realize, he's going to have some apprehension, but still. We jumped nearly every ditch in the place. We did a trakhener. At the end Lucinda had us all make courses and when she got to me and asked, I said I think I should do the two that concern me. That's code for scare me a bit. The Wheldon's Wall and the ditch she said was so big everyone would be afraid to try it. Lucinda made a course for me and WE JUMPED THE WHELDON'S WALL AND THE BIG DITCH WITHOUT A MOMENT'S TROUBLE, in addition to some banks, other ditches and jumps. Now that IS Christmas in April. Me and my Bird sailing over ditches without a care in the world - well almost without a care anyway.