November 5, 2018

Lesson Wrap-Up: Jumping to Help Our Dressage

Since I hadn't ridden in...a while...I scheduled a lesson last weekend.  Like, yes, I am perfectly capable of reconnecting all my synapses by myself, but if I have the option, I'm voting for some adult supervision.

Also voting for adult supervision, plz.

It actually ended up being super interesting, a jump ride that helped me figure some Dressage things out. Our main focus was the fact that Connor likes to approach jumps with his nose down and his weight on his forehand, which is part of (but not all of) the reason jumping him often feels awkward.

No idea what you're talking about...
Fox River Valley, 2014

Encouraging him to approach jumps with his front end elevated will not only help his Dressage, it will eventually make jumping feel less awkward too.

Awkward?  Nah.
Jump Start, 2014

I had two main takeaways from this lesson.  First, engagement.  I don't know what a collected canter should feel like, and I'm struggling to contain him enough to collect him while still keeping the activity behind.  In effect, I can slow the canter down, but not really collect it yet.

The definition of a strung out canter.  Also, compare this photo to the next one to see how much muscle he's packed on in four years!  Wow.  Penny Oaks, 2014

In a Dressage ride, his underpowered canter feels good, it's easy to ride, and it's getting the job done...for now.  You can do that in the Second Level canter work and still squeak out a 60%.  But that's definitely not the case higher up the levels, so I don't want to get complacent with this, and I'm grateful my trainer is pointing this out to me now so I'm aware of it.

Squeaking by with this counter canter right now
IDS Schooling Show, 2018

The lesson's main exercise of ground pole > one stride > really small jump made it obvious what a difference having the right and wrong amount of engagement for an activity makes.

So small it would be considered a cavaletti if Connor wasn't 14hh and shaped like a dachshund.

As my trainer said (paraphrasing heavily here), when he approaches fences with not enough "quickness" behind, he doesn't have as many options to get out of trouble if/when (definitely when) we get a bad spot.  When I had the right amount, I got a bad spot, but it still rode really well.

CJF clinic, 2014

The second takeaway was how much my inability to fold over the fence contributes to our jumping awkwardness.  This post is long enough though, and I need some more time to think through this one before I write about it.  It's definitely one part bad riding, one part defensive riding, and one part my super tight hamstrings.

Penny Oaks, 2014
Anyone else using jumping to connect the dots in Dressage right now?

16 comments:

  1. OH man this is the theme of... a lot of my lessons! Dino finds jumping more interesting than flatwork in general, so we use a lot of poles and small fences to help me figure out how to give our dressage work more "oomph". I feel like I'm going to be working on that same concept - having enough impulsion/engagement that even a poor spot works out ok - for the rest of my life! Love that under-powered canter to the base... I just can't let it go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that you write this comment I remember you saying that! It was kind of amazing how much better the bad spot felt with enough impulsion. We actually ended on a bad spot, because we both rode it so well, which is weird but it totally made sense.

      Delete
  2. I would love to do gridwork one day a week, but T tends to leap poles in a single bound, so we skip that. I need less drama, not more!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Like Alli, this was story of my life with Bridget. Jumping was the only thing that helped add enough impulsion to make the canter adjustable. So many grids and related distances to teach her to sit (and me to keep leg on and wait, lol)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must be a pony thing! I remember you saying that now.

      Delete
  4. Doing the opposite, lots of dressage to sort out my jumping! Love how it all intertwines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely does. I've been in that boat too, a long time ago. He had to learn how to use himself on the flat for it to translate to jumping.

      Delete
  5. Honestly, the quality of the canter is what makes all the difference for me jumping! The jumps themselves are not the issue -- it's all the flatwork (or dressage) between them!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was just doing the "circle of death" with groundpoles today! Really showed me how much I lose Hampton's right shoulder ALL THE TIME.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh. It's good that we can switch it up to feel things like that. Connor is still practically traveling sideways all the time, I know I'm in the same boat, just can't fix it all the time.

      Delete
  7. I think Connor and Crumble are the same pony (or darn close to it)! Crumbs has the same jump "style". ;) He starts to pay more attention when the fences are about 2ft or so, but it's always about reminding him to keep his front end up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's funny! Connor almost pays too much attention, he wants to put his nose down and check out the situation before he takes off. It's like dude, just trust me and jump! But that's not him.

      Delete
  8. That little before and after canter set is SO neat. what a little chunk now

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey guys

    For the show jumpers out there, here are some great tips and exercises to help you get really good at riding a related distance. I use them on all the people I coach, and get excellent results.

    http://clear-round.com/index.php/2018/10/28/showjumping-training-related-distance/

    They’re yours to use, and I hope they help you jump more clear rounds

    Regards
    Dave Miller

    ReplyDelete

Lesson Wrap-Up: Jumping to Help Our Dressage

Since I hadn't ridden in...a while...I scheduled a lesson last weekend.  Like, yes, I am perfectly capable of reconnecting all my synapses by myself, but if I have the option, I'm voting for some adult supervision.

Also voting for adult supervision, plz.

It actually ended up being super interesting, a jump ride that helped me figure some Dressage things out. Our main focus was the fact that Connor likes to approach jumps with his nose down and his weight on his forehand, which is part of (but not all of) the reason jumping him often feels awkward.

No idea what you're talking about...
Fox River Valley, 2014

Encouraging him to approach jumps with his front end elevated will not only help his Dressage, it will eventually make jumping feel less awkward too.

Awkward?  Nah.
Jump Start, 2014

I had two main takeaways from this lesson.  First, engagement.  I don't know what a collected canter should feel like, and I'm struggling to contain him enough to collect him while still keeping the activity behind.  In effect, I can slow the canter down, but not really collect it yet.

The definition of a strung out canter.  Also, compare this photo to the next one to see how much muscle he's packed on in four years!  Wow.  Penny Oaks, 2014

In a Dressage ride, his underpowered canter feels good, it's easy to ride, and it's getting the job done...for now.  You can do that in the Second Level canter work and still squeak out a 60%.  But that's definitely not the case higher up the levels, so I don't want to get complacent with this, and I'm grateful my trainer is pointing this out to me now so I'm aware of it.

Squeaking by with this counter canter right now
IDS Schooling Show, 2018

The lesson's main exercise of ground pole > one stride > really small jump made it obvious what a difference having the right and wrong amount of engagement for an activity makes.

So small it would be considered a cavaletti if Connor wasn't 14hh and shaped like a dachshund.

As my trainer said (paraphrasing heavily here), when he approaches fences with not enough "quickness" behind, he doesn't have as many options to get out of trouble if/when (definitely when) we get a bad spot.  When I had the right amount, I got a bad spot, but it still rode really well.

CJF clinic, 2014

The second takeaway was how much my inability to fold over the fence contributes to our jumping awkwardness.  This post is long enough though, and I need some more time to think through this one before I write about it.  It's definitely one part bad riding, one part defensive riding, and one part my super tight hamstrings.

Penny Oaks, 2014
Anyone else using jumping to connect the dots in Dressage right now?

16 comments:

  1. OH man this is the theme of... a lot of my lessons! Dino finds jumping more interesting than flatwork in general, so we use a lot of poles and small fences to help me figure out how to give our dressage work more "oomph". I feel like I'm going to be working on that same concept - having enough impulsion/engagement that even a poor spot works out ok - for the rest of my life! Love that under-powered canter to the base... I just can't let it go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that you write this comment I remember you saying that! It was kind of amazing how much better the bad spot felt with enough impulsion. We actually ended on a bad spot, because we both rode it so well, which is weird but it totally made sense.

      Delete
  2. I would love to do gridwork one day a week, but T tends to leap poles in a single bound, so we skip that. I need less drama, not more!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Like Alli, this was story of my life with Bridget. Jumping was the only thing that helped add enough impulsion to make the canter adjustable. So many grids and related distances to teach her to sit (and me to keep leg on and wait, lol)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must be a pony thing! I remember you saying that now.

      Delete
  4. Doing the opposite, lots of dressage to sort out my jumping! Love how it all intertwines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely does. I've been in that boat too, a long time ago. He had to learn how to use himself on the flat for it to translate to jumping.

      Delete
  5. Honestly, the quality of the canter is what makes all the difference for me jumping! The jumps themselves are not the issue -- it's all the flatwork (or dressage) between them!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was just doing the "circle of death" with groundpoles today! Really showed me how much I lose Hampton's right shoulder ALL THE TIME.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh. It's good that we can switch it up to feel things like that. Connor is still practically traveling sideways all the time, I know I'm in the same boat, just can't fix it all the time.

      Delete
  7. I think Connor and Crumble are the same pony (or darn close to it)! Crumbs has the same jump "style". ;) He starts to pay more attention when the fences are about 2ft or so, but it's always about reminding him to keep his front end up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's funny! Connor almost pays too much attention, he wants to put his nose down and check out the situation before he takes off. It's like dude, just trust me and jump! But that's not him.

      Delete
  8. That little before and after canter set is SO neat. what a little chunk now

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey guys

    For the show jumpers out there, here are some great tips and exercises to help you get really good at riding a related distance. I use them on all the people I coach, and get excellent results.

    http://clear-round.com/index.php/2018/10/28/showjumping-training-related-distance/

    They’re yours to use, and I hope they help you jump more clear rounds

    Regards
    Dave Miller

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment