Saturday, February 18, 2012

Making things Interesting

Kieran's getting bored with little, cavaletti-style jumps. But we're not really ready for anything much bigger (I know I'm not, at least in terms of my position and my riding). So today we tried to make things more interesting. Jessica ended up dragging over some lattice things that someone had once used for jumps for one of them because it looked "scary" compared to regular poles...then she hung her jacket over one of the other ones...then finally she had us jump over one of the barrels on its side.

But before that...warmup!

Part of our warmup after walking and trotting is to do some short "handgallops" I've mentioned before, I think.

Then, we did some trotting spirals, both directions.

Then, Jessica had us canter, then make a circle cantering and as we came out of it, to come to a halt. And she wanted it to be a nice halt, not a "fall forward on your face halt". So the idea being that I had to think ahead about what I wanted and prepare him properly so we could actually do it.

Then, since we've only been hopping over single fences, she had set up three in the center of the ring. First time, she had us trot over the middle one, down to the fence, then turn right and come back for the fence on the left (it was slightly catty corner so coming out of the corner meant we were on a straight line for it).

So Jessica progressively made the jumps more interesting (but not too much higher) with what we had on hand because Kieran was not really impressed with them, mostly. So we ended by going over the center one (now a vertical across the "tall" setting for the blocks), then came back around to do the lattice jump, then around for the barrel on the far side. :)

Looking at the videos, I know I need to have quieter hands and really work more again on using my legs. My toes are sticking waaaaaaay out and I suspect my stirrups are too long since in a lot of places when I'm getting out of the saddle, my leg is almost totally straight. (I need to punch holes, those stirrups are as short as they can go without me wrapping them around the irons)

Anyway, what do you think?


collegialequestrian said...

From what I can see, it looks like you're doing a good job of following his head, even over the jumps, which is great. But in the second jump it looked like you threw your upper body just a -hair- too much forward so you might want to practice with a regular crest release. Or if you're already OK with crest releases, you can do one hand crest release and the other in-hand release until you keep your position jumping in-hand.

And as for leg, a trick I picked up from reading George Morris's critiques is to slightly angle your stirrup iron so that the long part (arm? not sure if there is a name for it) on the outside is slightly ahead of the one on the inside. You'll see the difference right away--your calf should be right on your horse rather than your knee or heel, and that allows for much subtler commands. And sore legs. The only issue is KEEPING the iron in that position, which I am struggling with now. You're supposed to roll the weight of your foot to your pinky toe, but I always forget when I'm actually riding.

Analise said...

Thanks! I always try to remember the angling the stirrup iron thing but when I'm on the horse I'm thinking, "which way are you supposed to angle it?" LOL. That and I'm pretty sure all my weight is mostly on the inside of my foot rather than out toward my pinkie. Will have to think about it next time I ride!