February 13, 2019

Lesson Wrap-Up: Jumping Breakthrough

I've told my trainer in the past, don't ask me if I want to jump or wait for me to tell you I want to jump, just tell me we're jumping.  So she did.

Armed with my new canter and my newfound biomechanics cues, I was hoping this jump lesson would be good.  AND IT WAS AMAZING!

Happy post ride selfies

For the first time, I felt how much of a difference it makes when you jump with a tight core and your lats engaged (thanks Megan).  For the first time, I really understood what Mary has always meant by "feel like you're riding the hind legs up to the fence."  And for the first time, I took my uphill horse with his snappy hind end to the base of the fence and felt seriously confident.

Side note:  This was my first time using the Equisense's course feature.  Pretty cool!

That's not to say I was confident from the beginning.  My trainer put the crossrail up to an 18" vertical on the sly mid-course, and I felt my wimpy amateur brain shrinking into itself as it told me how big it looked.  But then I remembered how wrong my wimpy amateur brain had been about that 85# clean and jerk on Saturday in CrossFit, and how I put that weight back on my barbell on Monday night and ripped it off the ground like I meant it, and even added a few pounds for good measure.  In my head, in that moment, that jump became that barbell and I got aggressive instead of wimpy.

My head is a weird place sometimes.  But it works!

Canter stride frequency taking a huge leap forward in the jump lesson

Connor is very used to landing on his forehand and taking a few strides to mentally check out while I'm regrouping on his back.  When my core and lats aren't engaged, I just follow him down to the ground, which makes for an altogether awkward jump and makes it hard for me to regroup quickly after a fence.

Finally did a respectable amount of canter in a ride

Even though we have a long way to go until that lifelong habit can get undone, I could feel how much of a difference it made to hold firm in my upper body and not just follow him like a ragdoll.  I had a lot more influence, and was able to regroup quicker and send him on quicker.  It made a big difference in my ability to put him back together after an awkward jump.

14.cm!  Wow!
We have such a long way to go, but I felt some serious glimpses of jumping feeling easy, and I want more of it.  Never thought I'd say that again!


  1. Yay! See? Jumping is fun! Sounds like a great breakthrough!

  2. It's amazing how much muscle tone it takes to actively follow a horse's movement!!!

  3. So Happy for you! Glad you found joy in jumping.

  4. I love the sentiment of just tell me we're jumping... I'm with you there! Exciting to hear about the transformation and I do a similar thing with my visualization -- you have to get your mind in a place that works even if it's targeted at another activity!

  5. Jumping is the best! Glad your dressage breakthroughs have transferred to over fences!

  6. Yay for a fun time jumping!
    I hadn't noticed that additional section with the course feature, had to go back and look at some. Very cool although mine seems to sometimes miss fences? I guess I'm jumping too small, lol.

  7. Lol my trainer can't pull that on me if I'm in my dressage saddle :p
    Glad you had fun and felt the progress!