Thursday, September 16, 2010


Our good friend Ellie over at Cedes of Change came out and took some lovely pictures of Izzy yesterday. She did a nice post about us, but I'll repost a couple pictures here, too. You can see my album here.

We did some basic flatwork to start off with. Izzy was distracted and quick, both of which I attribute to the most obvious cause, which is zero turnout. We finally got her settled and did a little jumping. She was ok on the star of poles exercise we've been doing on and off. She did not approve of the four trot poles; we just took a massive flying leap over them on one try. When she'd finally go through, we headed over to the grid.

Oh boy.

She's been a little quick coming out of there, but I always attributed that to the fact that it's set for slightly larger jumps, so the striding is just the tiniest bit wonky.

That was certainly not the case today. She'd jump in fast. I'd correct with the bit (I know, bad) and she'd RUN FOR IT!!!! You would not believe how fast Miss Izzy can jump through a grid of crossrails. It's amazing. Also unsafe.

We worked on that a bit, but Izzy was up and not wanting to settle down. Cathy had me setting my hands down and using my body to slow her, which helped a lot, but ultimately doesn't compensate for a totally fried pony brain. Ugh. Boarding. It's driving me nuts. Anyways. I will now upload pictures.
Lunging with sidereins. Since we're working on going forward into contact and not being giraffe pony, I use them loosely adjusted. Izzy seems to be past the "Buuut I can't dooooo it" phase and on to the "Ok, I got this" phase. Lovely shot of a lovely pony, wouldn't you say?
Cantering. What a good girl.
I LOVE this shot of her face. She looks so polished, even if she's just scouting for weeds while I put the sidereins away.
Early trot work.
Taking a break. Pretty much the cutest thing ever.
Nice big trot.
This photo series makes it look like we take a lot of breaks. Actually, we really don't. Still, I love her facial expressions.
Canter. This shot is much more engaged than the last time I posted a canter picture... maybe I'll scour up a link. Anyways. We've been working hard and I think I can see some improvement.
Trot poles! This was not the time we took a massive flying leap. Look at that hock bending, though. Pretty impressive.
Gallop!! Not the plan, but it turned into a nice picture.
Pardon the position. It's a nice shot of Izzy's early jumping form and my lack thereof. ;-) (In my defense, I have not jumped regularly since highschool... )
Another big jump where it wasn't really required.
I know Izzy's really long and flat here, but I think it's the best shot of me riding. At least I'm more or less with her.
I'm way ahead, but what square knees she has!
Happy pony.

Looking at the pictures, I think my problem is partly that I lack a solid jumping foundation. I know I need to go forward with my horse to keep from hitting her in the face, but I have my stirrups a little too long and so I lose my base of support entirely. It makes me insecure which probably doesn't help her rushing at all.


Thankfully, she's super gorgeous and the photography is great, so most of you aren't looking at me anyways.


  1. She's so pretty!!! That trot is gorgeous. You guys will figure out the jumping. Your position is pretty good given you long break. With greenies the best thing is to do exactly what you said, strengthen you base of support (legs and core muscles) so you can stay out of their way as they figure it all out :)

  2. It is soooo nice having a friend armed with a camera... Being a visual type person, if I can see myself doing it right or wrong, I can improve, fix or keep doing it that way.

    Lovely pictures and you guys really look like you are coming together well. Super!

  3. You guys look so great! I am glad to see you guys are doing so well right now. :)

  4. Nice to see some pictures - some really nice ones!

  5. LOOOOOVE the pics!! She looks great!!

  6. Aha!! There they are!! Love that forward trot photo she looks beautiful in that one.

    Rushing those fences is a problem. Not much to suggest at this point as I'm pretty sure too many of your training issues are that lack of turnout. Being in a stall does nothing to let her learn to use her body on her own.

    I know in one clinic I went to years ago, the trainer set a pole on the ground in between the fences to get the horse to adjust its stride and "look" before he leapt, so to speak.

    And lots of trotting back and forth over a low crossrail until it becomes "boring" helps sometimes too. I think I've forgotten too much from my jumper days to help too much.

  7. Great pictures! Probably need to go up a hole or 2 on those stirrup leathers and do tons of 2 point. Although.... I'm pretty darn sure you knew that already !! LOL! Nice to see some pics. You guys look good together :)

  8. Izzy is certainly a looker. She is gorgeous. I'm not so sure that raising your stirrups is the answer, but bringing your leg more underneath of you and your hips forward in the saddle. Several of the pics make you look like you are sitting in a chair. Remember, shoulders, hips, and heels should all be in a line to give you the best balance. This will also help you stay with her over fences, minimizing being left behind or coming too far forward. My philosophy on a greenie over fences, stay off their back and out of their face so they can figure out how to use themselves over a fence. Keep up the hard work, it will pay off.

  9. Those are some beautiful pictures! She has gorgeous gaits.

    You could try putting a neck strap midway up her neck - a rope or an old stirrup leather. If you grab it over every fence, it'll help remind you to release AND it will keep you from whacking her in the mouth if she gets ;)

    I hear you on the turnout issue, though. Before we moved to our current barn, our mares were cooped up all winter and they were like smoldering firecrackers waiting to explode.


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