Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lesson Day

He's flirting. Pretty much the dorkiest thing ever.
Steph is now based at her summer barn in a cooler, wetter environment. I certainly don't blame her for escaping the desert, but I was super excited that she came back for a day and I got a lesson out of it.

I put him in the pelham with a plain cavesson and no martingale, to practice our theoretical show get up.

We started out trotting in, cantering out over a teeny jump. It was a cross rail! Haha, been a while since we'd done one of those. She had me really focus on my position and rhythm, both going in and coming out. I had to be more than just a passenger along for the ride. It was up to me to set the rhythm and tell Cuna where to go. Then we added another crossrail after a nice, loopy turn. Then they went up to verticals.

The final pattern was to canter a 2'3"ish vertical, take a long right hand turn to a one stride made of large verticals, to a long left turn to a bending line of 2'9"ish verticals.

I know when I get tense and worried about a fence, I tend to cluck and chase Cuna to it. I also know that clucking and chasing is a recipe for long and strung out and doesn't help anything.

So. Course. I picked up a canter, sent Cuna forward, then brought him back before the turn to the first fence and settled to a nice, easy distance. He went forward after the jump, which I packaged nicely and kept balanced around the turn. I saw the giant verticals looming, but instead of panicking, I told myself, "This is a fantastic canter on a broke horse. Wait for it to happen."

Magically, he jumped both verticals right out of stride. Again, I balanced him around the turn and settled to the bending line. He jumped softly and in balance.


Oh, and after that particular piece of loveliness, Steph walked up to the highest vertical, pointed out that it was over 3' tall, and said, "That's an actual jump and you rode it great."

Huzzah! I really liked how that one stride felt. For some reason, riding the canter through the turn and settling to the fence and not tensing up and chasing him over it makes for a much smoother round. Who knew, right?


  1. Hahaha! I do the same thing...but I dont cluck, I flap my arms like a chicken as if my 'wings' will help propel us over these oh so gigantic BN sized fences, LOL! CONSTANTLY working not to do this! Good for you for conquering and waiting patiently.

  2. It's amazing what a little trust can do!

  3. Waiting for the jump to come to you is so much easier said than done!!! So glad you were able to make it happen :)

  4. Another great ride. Having a solid horse under you makes everything come together. Cuna is teaching you everything you need to know.

  5. Yay! That's awesome - sounds like you are totally winning the battle. Congrats on a great ride!

  6. Man, what a fantastic-sounding ride! Total WIN! It is haaaaard to sit there and wait - I like to chase down jumps too. My trainer keeps telling me that the jump is STATIONARY, that it will not leap up and run off, and therefore there is no need for me to run at it. Funny that!

  7. Keep up the great jumping posts...since I will now have to live vicariously thru all of you eventers!

  8. Awesome! Hitting a fence perfectly between strides is such a great feeling.

  9. Sounds like a great lesson! I'm so happy it's all coming together for you over the jumps. Three foot?! Wow!


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