I learned a valuable lesson at the barn last night... When you're jumping a horse who also does contesting, and the instructor uses barrels on the center line to help us practice lead changes... That horse gets REAL excited and can't decide which it wants to do more - jumping, or contesting! Needless to say, he tried to do a combination of both. Speed jumping, and barrel racing. There was a lot of circling to get his brain back. Unfortunately, there's not much room in the indoor arena, and the only place to circle him? Around the barrel. Hello, reinforcement of nutcase behavior!
At least I stayed warm. We're really only supposed to canter. A nice calm, collected canter, at that. Me 'n Pepi? Nope. Galloping was the speed of choice.
On the bright side, I'm realizing that I've become a much more confident rider, and I no longer tense up when these things happen. I find my seat, circle, circle, circle, circle, circle, and circle some more until he feels like listening again. I also stayed toasty warm thanks to the extra work he made me do! Once he got his brain back, we actually had a great lesson - perfect jumps, lead changes every time, and great teamwork.