Plotting Horse

Desperately Seeking Stirrup
May 17, 2009, 17:01
Filed under: Jumping

Jumping lesson.

I picked Juvel again (see her photo in previous post) and she was great. She does get a bit excited, but is such a good girl that she listens to legs and reins no matter what. She just goes kind of crooked and wants to GO.

Twice she ran out. Caught me totally unsuspecting! I’m still not sure why she was doing that – her ears were pricked at the jumps, she was charging… My instructor said later that the second time Juvel was surprised by the jump, but I had a good line to it and plenty of time, so I’m not too sure. Because I couldn’t predict when she would suddenly lurch to the side, my instructor (Pia) told me to keep legs on and at the same time control her speed with the reins, right up until one stride from the jump. It worked, but felt a bit like I was getting in the way of her canter rhythm. I think she has a really nice rhythm on her own (with much less rider control), but of course we can’t have her running out and me barely hanging on, one foot desperately seeking stirrup.

Like I talked about last week, she is difficult to get on the bit. Thursday was much the same, if a little better – and atleast she had good chance to look at the jumps 😉 The way it’s supposed to be! And, she was Forward!

Powerful Rocket!

Powerful Rocket!

It was great to feel all that power, that potential pushing from behind. When she accepted the bit in momentary instances, she definitely felt much more connected – like compact and flowing.

The jumps were barely 2 feet tall, cross rails, and we just did 2 at a time with a 115 degree angle between. Ooh, I can’t wait til the jumps start rising higher and higher in jumping lessons! And courses! Actually, I talked to Pia afterwards about the difficulty of improving, at jumping in particular, when you only get to do it every 5 weeks. She agreed that it is a problem and that it gets complicated when it’s a different horse every time. When you know how the horse is going to react and what you need to do to get them jumping the best they can, then you can start focusing more on your position.

Right now we are getting really focused on control, and that is so important! That you can control the horse’s speed with your legs and reins (seat ideally, but for the most part we’re not that skilled) means that you can eventually reach collection. So, I can see the logic in starting now. Also, it is elementary – I mean, half of the school horses are generally bored and evade running around all charged up, but that’s what you want – Forward! You want a lot of energy – so you can work on focusing it.

That’s all for riding this week, except to say that I dream vividly of the day that I can go to the barn and ride whenever I want.