Didn’t I say this weekend was supposed to be relaxing? Haven’t I been whining about burnout and wanting a day off? Welp, that didn’t happen! This weekend was filled with much manual labor and design delirium, sprinkled with a *tiny* bit of horses and drinking (no, not together) instead. Anything but relaxing!
The little bit of saddle time I got this weekend was in a showjumping lesson with Holly. My main complaint that I brought to her was about the show- I noticed in all of our showjumping pictures (see #6 in particular) that he was jumping over his shoulder terribly. His knees were still tight, but there was no lift in his elbow, and we got around the course mostly by his over-jumping things. The only fence he jumped in good form was the oxer I buried him to going into the 2 stride (picture 13).. so, I wanted her thoughts on what was going on.
To start with, we went over a small exercise of pole-vertical-pole. It was set up on the tight side, to make him rock back on take-off instead of lobbing himself over the fence like a lazy pole vaulter. I definitely struggled with the exercise, which quickly unveiled a habit I didn’t realize I had- squeezing him and throwing him at the fence in the last two strides. So, we worked on my establishing the canter I wanted early and then maintaining it all the way to the jump. Big difference there!
After that, we worked through a one-stride with a pole in the middle with the same canter in mind- forward and uphill at the same time. He was jumping beautifully, so we deduced the over-the-shoulder jumping at the show was likely because he was strung out. Since one of my main goals for the show was to go for time with the forward pace, this makes sense to me- next time, I need to be forward but more packaged in my approach.
The rest of the lesson was spent on a short course that included the combinations, a tight turn, and a long approach, all focusing on the quality of the canter I needed to each element. Foster was extremely rideable, and for once I actually felt confident in my jumping abilities! I remembered the good advice my friend N gave me earlier in the week and didn’t get a single comment on my elbows (score!). Double bonus that my bum didn’t feel like it weight 10,000 lbs and I was able to stay out of the saddle the whole lesson! Woot! Now if I can just keep riding like that, all will be well.
I wish I had photos to share with you guys, but unfortunately I was there by myself! But that’s ok, our next show is only a week and a half away! Can you believe it’s almost June? Crazy!