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There’s No Rush

March 7, 2010

Carly jumped her heart out in our group lesson this morning.  We jumped only once a week last month due to my schedule and I think this break served us well.  Today, I felt her exuberance as we sail over the jumps.  She wasn’t taking crazy long spots (except for one) or overjumping anything, she was just very happy.

We have been working on keeping an even pace throughout our courses, keeping her shoulders up and being balanced, and releasing only with our outside hand over a jump so Carly will land on the correct lead.  She does know her land changes and will do lovely changes if I have her round, or at least using her back.  The problem is that we are not quite ready to canter while being round.  I can see this when we lunge with side reins – it is just very hard for her now, but she is getting stronger every week.  Since we cannot be round at the canter while flatting, I have also stopped trying to make her round while going through the course.  I end up futzing too much and ruining the things that we do right.

Our course today was this: canter over a 2′ vertical and halt; canter on to a 2’6 oxer with a sharp left turn to a 2′ oxer.  My goal for my position today was to sit closer to the tack. When we ride in two point, I tend to take my butt 6 inches into the air and I am trying to ride with more of a light forward seat.  I just need to keep reminding myself to keep this position or I revert to my other habits.  Everything else was amazingly easy today!  When we first approached the oxer, I gunned her towards it. The previous two horses refused this jump and I wanted to clearly convey to Carly that yes, we are going! She went, although because we kept increasing our speed, she took a long spot, leaping into the air a whole stride early.  I managed to stay with her, though.  At our next approach, I took our time, making a few half halts going up to the jumps to bring her shoulders up and keep an even pace, and she easily soared over the oxer.

While I don’t plan to ask her to be round at the canter very much right now – it is just not worth getting into a big fight with her – I do need to focus on her shoulders and bump her up with half halts.  If I have her shoulders up, then the rest of it will fall into place more easily when we are ready.  There’s no rush – just one step at a time.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 31, 2011 7:24 pm

    This is a good attitude to have about riding. Recognize the stuff you need to work on but acknowledge the stuff you do right too.

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