Holy Hamstrings

… and quads, for that matter.

Well, I finally got my jump school in, after setting up 5 jumps in the small sand arena between 2’9″ and 3′. Foster was a really good boy and was jumping well with some pace (I think, at least it felt like a good pace) but I was a hot mess. I got left behind. My lower leg swung all over the place. I roached my back. Ugly.

Regressing back to 2012, when this was taken... Oh hello swinging leg!

Regressing back to 2012, when this was taken… Oh hello swinging leg!

To be a little fair to myself, it’s quite a tight space, with enough wiggle room for 3 strides before and after the jump at the widest part, so I was mostly focused on A) getting over the fence and B) not dying in the process. But I do wish all that muscle memory for jumping position was still there while I was at it!

So I went out there again last night and set up a gymnastic that I could work over. With no measuring tape I just walked the distances, and set up a crossrail-to-crossrail bounce, one stride to a 2’7″ vertical, two strides to a 3′ vertical.

After dashing out there this morning before work I hopped on and had a go of it. I remembered quite quickly that Foster doesn’t have a 12′ stride when the bounce became a one stride (what? woops!) and the two stride became 2 1/2. Ugh! So I interrupted my ride to shuffle fences around and try it again. We went through it a couple times, and I was somewhat able to focus on my position, and I felt my leg and shoulders improve quite a bit.

(Grid struggles from the clinic)

As I was cantering around, I was trying to remember all the handy pointers from the clinic, and ride with a longer rein, lower hands, and get my butt out of the saddle. While somewhat successful remembering the first two, the latter was still just as difficult. I just flat out haven’t practiced two point due to my lack of jumping for the past few weeks, and man, does it show.

Even Foster gets tired sometimes of carting my butt around...

Even Foster gets tired sometimes of carting my butt around…

So that’s where we are- a heavy butt, sore legs, and arms that feel black and blue from moving 54,230 jump standards around this week. But luckily, I’m not so worried about Foster’s stamina as much as mine for this weekend! While I know it will really only come with practice and time…if you have a magic Hulk formula for riding stamina… Please share!


6 thoughts on “Holy Hamstrings

  1. Total hunter here…. but I ride in half seat almost 90% of the time when I canter. It will strengthen your legs a lot and build a solid lower leg foundation for jumping. At least it has helped me!

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