Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Follow Through

This face saves me a lot
When we were cross country schooling last week, Steph pointed out that I never actually showed Cuna a fence and said "I want to jump this" to him. I went through most of the right motion, but just had him generally aimed in the correction direction and hoped he'd save me. 

While that works for now, it really isn't ideal. 

Today I did a short jump school over a couple of verticals and focused on telling the old man I actually wanted to jump them. We took the first one off of a big left hand canter circle. I lined Cuna up at the jump, and he tried to wiggle away a bit. I kept myself focused on the top rail of the jump, with my legs steady, hands quiet, and posture definitive. I want to jump this (tiny 2'6" single vertical). 

He locked on and obliged. 

As we cantered around the arena to come again, I realized there was a convenient bending line to another vertical, this one probably 2'9" or so. I decided to do the sequence. 

Again. Lock on to jump #1. Check. Stay balanced and forward through the turn, lock on to jump #2 and settle to the base. Well done! 
Part of the fun course we didn't jump
I cantered around our little pattern again to make sure it wasn't luck and called it a day. Cuna probably felt a little underwhelmed, especially since I set such a pretty course this morning that looked super fun, but I wanted to hammer home that detail in my head. I need to be able to kick him at it, and I need to want to jump. 

It's those same little details that apply across the whole spectrum of horsemanship. 

Well done, SB
PS I will say, my wrap job is getting a lot faster and better. I can even do a decent job with the nasty, thick, wide, weird polos. Look at the picture--the velcro is all aligned, the legs look mostly even, and nothing appears to be a misshapen potato, which would be unsightly. Win! 


  1. Wise words to remember - let them know we WANT them to jump, not just a point and shoot! Will have to keep this one in mind when starting Koda over actual jumps and not just step or trot overs.

  2. Good reminder. Since I'm teaching one to jump, I have to constantly remind myself that I'M the pilot, and we'll do what I say and tell him to do. It's a shift, for sure.

  3. Once again, well done. The "mental game" of jumping is at least as hard as the physical one. Sounds as if you are conquering both.

  4. Yeah, I think most of the time on Don I was going "OK, jump this if you want to, please don't listen to me too much since neither of us knows what we're doing."

    Hopefully some day we get the chance to find a good trainer and change that strategy a little.

  5. Good work and very important points about the mental game.

    Those jumps look monstrous, by the way!

  6. I know nothing about jumping, but I thought you were supposed to look past the jump and not focus on the top rail.... not sure. Ignore me lol. I'm glad you had such a fantastic schooling!


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