Search the Site
Lisa's Blog post # 56
I wanted to wait until it actually happened but after today’s ride I am just too pumped – I have to tell somebody! June is turning out to be Jump a Course Month!! And I’m NOT just being optimistic.
FIVE straight weeks of nothing but canter transitions… was so worth it. They have officially become a part of our lives – we will do canter transitions every single time I ride - from now on – guaranteed.
Here’s the deal – we started out in our dressage saddle and in his snaffle. I quickly ditched the snaffle. The dressage saddle allowed me to sit deep and tall and keep my legs long and wrapped around him. The bubble bit kept him from blowing me off.
Three weeks into it I learned that my core must be engaged and my leg needs to be there constantly – not just for the downward transition (which he was doing really well by then). I figured out that when I released my core in order to go with his motion over a pole he would completely lose it. That simple, invisible, split second vacation was all it took to dump him on his forehand and render him practically uncontrollable. But when I kept my seat and leg while following his motion he remained together, balanced and back on his haunches – easy enough!
During the canter transition month he became much more balanced and responsive. He anticipated my requests for downward transitions and obeyed me instantly! He was definitely carrying himself back on his haunches without my needing to hold him up anymore. Whew!
As we moved on to our baby jumps, I knew the key to our success would be to keep my core and leg engaged. Ground poles acted as brakes to keep him from rushing even those tiny little things. Jumping is SO exciting!!
Our first day of jumping was a tremendous success – well, after 2 refusals - he seemed to be in shock that I wanted him to go over the jump!
The next day I wanted to work on his leads after the fence – that didn’t go so well. As I walked him back to the barn I figured out that I wasn’t engaging my core completely upon landing. If I was able to get that down pat, I thought he might be able to get and keep the correct lead…
Today, we cantered over 5 different jumps, 2 at a time. We weren’t able to get the lead thing down BUT I was able to nail my engaged core and leg immediately upon landing and felt a ginormous difference! Even though he skipped and swapped and hopped around sometimes, because he was not leaning on his forehand, he was still controllable enough to steer and stop. I wasn’t fighting him at all – I was able to keep my 3 point seat with my leg on and he stayed balanced over his hind end. Do you people realize what a big deal this is?!!
Some fine-tuning is required to get him better balanced on his turns to the right and less excited when he sees we’re jumping a line but we can work on those details as we go – our goal is in sight and, as we say in the South, if the good Lord’s willing and creeks don’t rise, we’ll be jumping a course by the end of this week.
I’m about to pop!
0 Comments Posted Leave a comment