Bareback Jump Lesson and a Flying Change

I'm here to tell you that I had a jumping lesson bareback on Thursday.  Not only did I survive. but it was actually fun AND productive.

(Sidenote: I keep hearing how that makes me a badass and how "I could never do that."  Just a few years ago I used to be so terrified of being bareback that I once curled in the fetal position on  a showing third/schooling 4th mare while being lunged.  In college.  And I definitely have jumping hangups too.  So if I can do it, you can do it.  Although to be fair, we're basically talking about cavaletti height here...)

Mary brieless jumping the horse I curled into the fetal position on...
Anyway, so Thursday, my trainer was like, "I really would like to jump tonight.  Are you okay with that?"  I said, "Sure, I know you're not going to put them up to 3'3 or whatever," and she said, "No, I'm not that mean."

We ended up working on a line the whole lesson.  Crossrail, two stride, crossrail, with placing poles everywhere.  I have the same problem with him that A Gift Horse talked about with O this morning. He likes to check things out before takeoff:

July 2013

If he did that while I was jumping bareback, it was really hard to follow.  If he didn't, the jump flowed really smoothly and my position was great.  So I had the best success giving him a big half halt, still in the elevator bit, right as we entered the line.  It had the effect of 1) balancing him back to front and 2) encouraging him to stay up.

Thrilled about going to his lesson

As far as the rest of my position went bareback, she had me really focus on going into the line with my seat back and in a good position with my legs. Torturously, we also focused on not letting him think he was done after he successfully did a line, and she made me keep cantering, even though by the end of the line I was like "my thighs are seriously going to fall off of my body."

Finally, he gave me a clean flying lead change when I was trying to do a simple across the diagonal!  Except it was so smooth, and I had no idea what happened, my brain processed it as "Something I didn't understand happened, he must still be on the wrong lead" so I brought him back down!  He probably thinks he did the wrong thing, shame on me.  Trainer was surprised/impressed though.

9 comments:

  1. YAY FLYING CHANGE! They should feel uneventful. That typically means they're good. Unless you're working on making a really expressive flying for something like Grand Prix dressage... ;)

    Btw. Yay Hanna! Funny story. Riding that mare over a jumper course was the only time in my life I've ever been motion sick on horseback. She could be terrifying when you lost confidence.

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  2. WOOT FLYING CHANGES! That's awesome! And yeah, you are still my hero for having a full bareback jump lesson.

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  3. HAHA.

    Um.

    No, I will not jump my OTTB bareback. I did that as a kid. I have a healthy respect for withers.

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    1. I am only talking about the fear of falling, not the fear of being rendered unable to have children by shark withers. :) I once had a final on an underweight Thoroughbred, and the final was bareback. My spine was actually resting on its spine. Aaahhhh.

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  4. I really want to get to the point of jumping Simon bareback! I think I have to canter first, and not have the horrible rides we've been having lately :) So basically I still think you're a bad ass.

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  5. Sounds like a fabulous lesson :D

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  6. woo hoo - sounds awesome! congrats on the flying change too :)

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  7. Ah so jealous right now. I love jumping bareback, but it does take a relationship. After shows at our first barn I would take Sherman out and jump him bareback over the jumps. I believe 2'6" is the highest I have jumped bareback. Comrade is a looker too, Roscoe so far does not seem to be. I love the feel of a flying change done right. Comrade has done a few where he forgets to change one end or the other and it feels like a washing machine.

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  8. Bareback jumping is seriously the best!! I can barely understand not wanting to be able to do it, though I do have a healthy respect for those nasty TB withers. Even if it's just a baby X rail, it's an aweso feeling. Good for you!!

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