Friday, January 7, 2011

We jump! (not really)

I got this picture a moment too late, but this is what greeted me at the barn. Note the pile of hay on the outside of the fence. Izzy is getting more roughage since it's winter, but her run was all muddy, then froze. Thus, she likes to stay in her stall.

She also likes to see what's going on. As a result, she gets a mouthful of hay, then pokes her nose over the fence to watch everything. She also drops a lot, as you can see. Then, she goes and gets another mouthful.

Silly mare. You have to love her.

My smartpak clearance package came on Wednesday, so I got to wear it yesterday. So nice to have winter clothes!! I'm a base layer away from being outfitted for winter (yeah, in January). Anyways. In keeping with our schedule, I pulled out the jumping tack today. The advantage to breaking my stirrup leather a couple months ago was that now I have a spare. I tied it about a third of the way up Izzy's neck to give me a reference point for practicing jumping position.

Yep. Two pointing it. I am determined to do this the hard way and actually force myself to learn. We'll even do some work without stirrups eventually. I need so much work...

Anyways. Izzy was better about going forward, which was lovely. Still not fabulous, but better. I did a lot of two point around the arena in trot. I'd do two laps with my hands on the improvised neckstrap, then attempt one without. I'm doing this partly because my two point sucks and needs practicing and partly because my lower leg needs a lot of stabilizing. Also, it's a good workout.

After that, we moved on to the main event: trot poles.

Yep. We are that exciting.

Basically, Izzy hasn't even seen a jump since November. While she is a fab lil' jumper, I didn't want to surprise her and we need plenty of basic work before we worry too much about height. Trot poles allow her to figure out where her feet are while forcing me to hold my balance in two point for an extended period of time. It took us a few tries to get through without me losing my balance or her knocking almost every pole, but we worked it out.

I had two sets of trot poles: three in a row laying on the ground and four in a row, each about 4" off the ground. Izzy was lovely throughout. I really, really want to start jumping again, but I think we need to do some more of this. When we do jump, I'll set some little grids so we can continue working on Izzy's footwork and my balance.

And look! I coerced (ok, asked) a fellow boarder and she took a picture of us. LOVE that I'm in the shadow, ha. I need to do some pretty winter fuzziness conformation shots soon.

Check out the fuzzy horsewares vest (which is super warm) and the cool ariat shirt (yay half price!).

Izzy is so good looking. She's cute and has a great personality, but she's also drop dead gorgeous. I am ridiculously spoiled by having sucha great horse.


  1. Love the white blaze peeking out from the darkness of the stall. *G*

    Good work on the jumping preparation. Your position is so important in the whole scheme of things that it's well worth it to spend some quality time practicing.

    Think as you go into two point, of pushing your heel down and forward. If you can get your leg to stay under you instead of falling back as so often happens, your balance will become far more secure. Thinking of "forward" with your foot/heel will make you close your body angles instead of simply standing up in two point. Then, when you do go over a jump, all you will have to do is simply close your upper body down and you'll be right where you need to be.

    The stirrup leather is a great aid for getting your hands under control as well. In some of the pictures I've seen, you need to push your hand a bit more forward over the fence to give Izzy a release. You can practice that using the leather on the neck instead of the reins.

    Once again, sounds as if you are making great progress on all your plans. Hope you can keep it up as winter rolls on.

  2. Izzy is a lovely horse :) Have fun with your jumping preparation work - it will pay off I'm sure.

  3. Yay half price for sure! She looks wonderful and you look warm!!!

  4. I agree with you wholeheartedly--Izzy is a great looking horse! You are lucky!


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