Flying High

Tonight’s lesson was amazing! It was a private, since the girl I normally ride with booked the day off. The weather was a perfect 15 degrees with light clouds. Jumping time! Warm up was getting Misty on the aids and getting a quick and responsive canter transition. We did lots of fast transitions to get her moving, and she responded nicely.

Small Crossrail

We started with a simple crossrail. Enter at the trot, canter out. First attempt I focused entirely on shoulders up, stay tall, out of the tack the whole ride. My position over the jump was awesome, but I failed to get a canter. We trotted in and out. Next attempt I added a little oomph. We got the canter out, but I fell into the saddle. My instructor had me grab mane to help me balance and give her the freedom to go forward afterwards, and it helped. “Shoulders back, soft elbows, stand up, go forward”.

Crossrail Bounce

Next, she set up a second small crossrail to make a bounce. My goal was to keep my butt from touching the saddle the entire way through, and a few strides after. After a couple attempts though, I was still touching the back of the saddle in the middle of the bounce. Instructor told me to swing my hips, and stick my belly button out. This helped, and I did get a couple good jumps.

Triple Bounce

I’m not sure if that’s what it’s called, but Instructor set up a taller vertical after the two crossrails so that we did three jumps in a row. It suddenly became obvious that my stirrups were much too long, and that was why I wasn’t able to get out of the tack and bend my knees. We brought them up three holes on each side. It felt super strange. I did a few circles in trot and canter, testing out my two point position. I felt like I was standing on Misty’s back. It made a huge difference though. I was able to get into two point, bend my knees, and not touch the saddle. It will take practice to not feel so precarious with short stirrups, but I think it will help a lot. We did the exercise again, and I was able to stay up and forward much more easily.

Triple Bounce with a Turn

To finish up, we did the same jump sequence, but with a turn at the end. Just as we entered the bounce, Instructor called out left or right. It wasn’t a tight turn, but I had to collect the canter and make the turn quite quickly. I failed pretty hard at this. We missed a couple times, and I tipped forward a lot. I was still working on my balance with the short stirrups. I can definitely improve on this by practicing on my lease day.

One of the coolest feelings this lesson was making the tight turn in the canter to get into the jump sequence. The jumps were in the middle of the arena, so I had to come down the rail and turn up the centre line in the canter. It was pretty tight for me. I imagined the way the riders in Rolex look when they did tight turns. The really sit, centre themselves, and help their horses through. I imagined myself looking like them, and there were a few awesome feeling turns.

My homework is to practice “posting” out of the tack in the trot and canter, doing two point to standing over and over again. I also have to think “belly forward” and “elbows soft”.

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 Exercises, Lessons

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.