Friday, January 14, 2011

An Actual Jump!

I didn't get to ride yesterday, but I'll be back out today (I hope). On Wednesday, I decided that we were going to do it. That's right folks: I set an eensy-weensy crossrail to go along with my trot poles.

My reasoning was this: Izzy is a fabulous jumper who has not seen a jump since November. The only thing that's really holding her/us back is my riding and confidence issues. I've decided that my confidence issues come from the fact that I ride poorly over jumps, so I am justly afraid. In order to combat that fear, I need to set non-threatening-looking jumps that don't scare me and then practice over them ad naseum until I can get my position right and feel more secure.

Hence, the tiny crossrail.

We went back and forth over a set of trot poles until I could hold my balance and my leg. Then we established a nice pace, found a line and trotted towards the jump. I remembered to push my hands forward, forgot to keep my leg on, and Izzy tripped over it. Mostly, I wasn't supporting her and she didn't think it was worth the effort. We went back and forth over it. The biggest problem was just that it was so small that she didn't actually have to jump, so I would try to get ready and then she'd just take a step.

Oh well. Despite the under-whelmingness of it all, I felt a little more comfortable at the end of the ride--it wasn't a real "jump", but we were both ok with it. Alright, I'll be honest: Izzy was probably pretty bored.

I did notice one interesting thing, though. Izzy gets really distracted when we do dressage in the indoor. I am not to the point of demanding enough of her that she has to focus, so about half the time, her ears are anything but attentive. Frustrating, but we're working on it. As soon as there were poles and jumps in the arena, I had her full attention. She was definitely more engaged in her job and quite happy with the obstacles. YAY!!

And... no pictures.

ETA: I was so hoping to do a final jumping lesson this weekend, before our jumping trainer leaves for AZ for the rest of the winter. OF COURSE this is the weekend my poor little car decides to need brakes. Oh well.


  1. I've always found that putting a small jump somewhere in the arena and then popping them over it during flat-work breaks up the monotony of it for the horse and helps to spike/keep their interest during the rest of the ride. It's one of my favorite little tricks.

    Also, good for you taking it slowly and building your confidence back up. I think we get pressured all too often to move up and bigger faster than we are mentally ready for. Eventually you'll want to be challenged and go bigger, but do it when you are ready, and then it will be fun and rewarding, rather than confidence shaking and scary.

    Adventures In Colt Starting

  2. Yay, you're doing tiny crossrails too! :) I'm looking forward to the day when we ride over something big enough that he "actually" jumps-which I know he can do b/c he does it on the lunge:) It is a great confidence builder though, you're right.

  3. Good for you! If you set up the trot poles correctly and then make your little crossrail a little vertical, Izzy might be impressed enough to jump. Either way, keep the trot poles as the set up so you don't have to worry about your timing.

    Good two point practice over those poles is good.

    AND there is no reason you can't incorporate cavaletti into your dressage sessions. Lots of patterns and changes of direction might keep Izzy's attention better.

  4. Hooray for jumping! Glad you and Izzy are having a good time. :-)

  5. Award for you on my blog!

    Also, looking forward to next weekend!


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