Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jumping a Sane Horse (who's maybe even broke)


warm up
I talked last week about how I was basically trying to bore Courage to death with lots of tiny jumps.

Well, good news: it's working.

2'6" = 3'6"
Courage is always super fun to photograph because he believes ALL jumps are 3'6" and clears them accordingly. Thus, I could set teeny courses and still get spectacular shots because of how green he was.

I think that's over with.

Alyssa came out earlier this week to grab some shots for us, and while the pictures are great, it wasn't because Courage put on a show.

For once. Ha!

and i'm releasing. that helps.
So yeah. Instead of high flying drama, Courage cantered across my tiny 2' verticals like they weren't even there.

That doesn't make for spectacular knees photos (love those), but there are other things. Like notice how Courage is lifting his withers because his neck and back can actually move now.

Thank you, dressage.

big release and good balance
This maybe sounds a little backwards (or correct?), but all the dressage miles we've put in together have given me so many more options on Courage that I'm WAY more confident jumping. Like... I can't even explain. Yes, these are still super tiny lil things and I know he isn't so much jumping as stepping over them, but if he's sticky to the base, I am totally comfortable sitting down and kicking.

I dunno why it took 8 months of dressage to get here, but it did. And here we are.

single barrel
My eventer side wants to be like "YOU ARE RELEASING TOO MUCH AND OUT OF THE TACK AND STAHP", but again, this is the ride that Courage wants. He's very honest about going over the fences as long as I stay THE HELL out of his face. I mean, if I have contact, I can hold contact, but that's it.

but i love all the shit. ALL OF IT.
I mean, yeah for sure there's things I want to fix in these pictures (like wtf my lower leg is doing) (and hands. cut those bitches off), but I'm really happy that Courage and I are at a point now where I'm totally comfortable working on this.

Next up: robbing banks to afford lessons. Or you know, STOP BUYING SHIT. That would probably work too.

PS And I'll be revamping our show schedule for the rest of the year too. BIG PLANS, people. Big. All least moderately big.

13 comments:

  1. He looks better with the dropped leg than the over jump. Glad you found your stride with him, he's very cute.

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  2. He looks so much better and more relaxed, even giving some real bascule over the fences! It's always tough with young ones when they first start jumping because what looks pretty and KNEES! is often a sign of insecurity and tension. You've so many great steps to set Courage (and yourself up for success) and now you have gaits you can adjust and a horse who is cantering over fences... it should just feel like another canter stride:)

    ps. plus you know that once the fences go up, he's capable of tightening up those knees and being economical at the same time!

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  3. I know exactly why your showjumping has improved because of your dressage- because...

    Showjumping = Dressage + Poles

    Seriously, the need for balance, rhythm, collection, lengthening, engagement... it's all dressage- just add fences.

    I also find that showjumping helps my dressage- in that he becomes more responsive and has a better canter. Crosstraining for the win!

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  4. He looks amazing! As do you! Looking so relaxed!

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  5. The eventer in you says you're releasing too much, but the hunter/jumper in me says your eq looks very nice. All that dressage makes the before & after the fences feel good, which is what makes it all feel good!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I think he wants to be a jumper. :-)

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  6. Each horse needs to be ridden their own way. Love Courage's relaxation in his body and expression in all these photos.

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  7. My trainer always says that a course is just flatwork with a couple speedbumps thrown in- if you're comfortable with your flatwork then the jumps will start to take care of themselves. And it sounds like you're both gaining a lot of confidence!

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  8. You guys look great!! He looks so relaxed over the fences like NBD.

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  9. the dressage is doing crazy amazing things for my mare too and suddenly the jumping is feeling so much easier for both of us. courage looks like he could hop around those jumps happily all day long!

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  10. Yay Courage! Flatwork is really the key to jumping. I mean, you can say it all you want, but when you start to FEEL it, you truly become a believer.

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  11. Good flatwork=good jumping = dressage wins!

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