Had another excellent showjumping lesson last night. And not only because of the knowledge gained, but also because of the chance to see friends I don’t normally see! Always a great perk 🙂
As in lessons before, we worked on getting Foster sharp to my aids. Go means go now, not ‘get up to speed when you’re ready’. Similarly, collect means come back to me now, and not when it’s convenient for you. It takes me a few attempts to get Foster listening, but when I finally do it makes a huge difference!
Once we had warmed up, we started with some rollback exercises. Balancing through the turns became key, and I got schooled in when to look at the fence versus when to turn to the fence. My timing is not great on this, and we had some super squiggly approaches to start! Similarly, after the fences I am in the habit of getting far too blasé about where we go, and planning (and riding) the back side of the fence is just as important. This became the theme of the lesson in many ways- don’t stop riding just because you jumped the jump!
I expressed the need to jump fences that were a little higher (3′ versus 2’9″) because I have felt a niggling anxiety creep in every time I jump something ‘bigger’ these days, afraid that I will get him deep and underpowered to the base of the fence (PS this is a SUPER annoying new development, since we have been jumping 3′ forever, and even up to 3’6″ for a long time). So eventually we worked up to a 3′ mini course that incorporated both rollbacks and long approaches. I was immediately called out on speeding up to the square oxer, as my anxiety took over and I attempted to throw ourselves into the abyss.
It gets said over and over again, because it’s true: creating a quality canter is the key to successful jumping.
So much to practice!