Jump Lesson: On the Right Track

In the warmup, my trainer said, "Whoa, he is really stretching from the base of his neck. Have you been doing something different?"

YES.  YES I HAVE.  THANK YOU FOR NOTICING.


I could have gotten off my horse and danced.  Everything I talked about in my forward thinking post is working, and she said she noticed my softer, following hands too.

The actual lesson was jumping, and we're continuing with the general theme of challenging him to think ahead and be more autonomous.  We are jumping jumps at diagonal angles, from all different directions, and doing lots of gymnastic lines.

It's like that time I audited the Jimmy Wofford clinic, and he was talking about challenging our young horses.  He said something to the effect of, "Your eventer just needs to accept that people are crazy and are going to put crazy jumps in crazy places.  Your eventer can't be approaching a fence asking 'Why would a human put a fence there??!?!?!??!!!!'"

Jimmy Wofford, everyone.  The man knows what he's talking about.

Connor is doing really well with this concept.  I feel like our jump training is entering a new stage (with the previous stages being: This is a Jump and Yes You Have to go Over it Every Time, Jumping Straight Up Into the Air is not Okay, and Sometimes I'm Going to Give You a Bad Ride Because I'm an Adult Ammie Please Save Us).  Now we're into "We Can Do This, Now Let's Do it Better".

My trainer set up three verticals on the diagonal from H to F, like so:

Not to scale, and not exactly H-F, more like in the middle of space, but you know.


But most of our courses started with jumping one of them parallel to the long side (diagonally over the fence), then continuing on the same rein to take the line, then turning immediately onto the other rein and making a tight turn back to finish jumping another one parallel to the long side, like this:

Green line is the start, grey line is the finish

One time we finished by circling over the center fence parallel to the short side, like this:


It was really really hard, and we very nearly took out the standard of the other fence with my foot the first time we did it.

At the end, we spent time working on my lower leg, because now that Connor is more autonomous, I can think more about myself rather than getting him through the line (so excited to be here, by the way.)   The big breakthrough happened at the trot, when she said, "You're fine on the up beat, but the downbeat..." I couldn't feel it til she said it, but as she was saying that I felt it, and I changed the way I posted so that the stirrup iron didn't change position.  "YES!" she said, "I have to take a video of this for you, it just changed the whole way you went."

I am interested to see where that change takes us, especially in the new saddle.

17 comments:

  1. Riding is so much fun when the progress is really noticeable.

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  2. Sounds like a fun lesson, seriously excited for your competition season this year!

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    1. Meeeeeee toooo. He's still going to jump flowers like they're lava, but I feel like everything else will be better.

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  3. What a cool exercise!! I'm jealous of your jumping lessons and more broke horse, lol.

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    1. I spent a long time in green jumper purgatory. :) You'll get there.

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  4. wow that looks like a great exercise - curious about what the measurements are down the line? also, very cool that your trainer noticed the changes you've been working on!!!

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    1. I don't know the measurements in feet, but they were one strides. It started out a bit long for him and then she moved them closer. Yes, it was awesome!

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    2. cool - i might (definitely) try to steal this exercise when we have our own arena back!!! lol

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  5. I'm thinking I will be setting that up, looks like fun!

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    1. It was a lot of fun, you should blog about it if you set it up! I'd love to hear how it rode for you.

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  6. amateur videographer services available anytime! you know my price ;)

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    1. You know I will take you up on it! Saddle is coming... Pony snuggles always available!

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  7. Jimmy Wofford is awesome!

    I am totally setting this up, because it doesn't require tons of jumps!

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    1. Exactly! It was a great indoor exercise. Connor has always taken well to diagonal jumping too.

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  8. When someone notices the hard you've been doing it's like the heavens open up, sun shines down on you and angels start singing. Or maybe that's just me...

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    1. Oh yeah, it was pretty remarkable!

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