Hello blogosphere! It was a quiet weekend around here--I spent time hacking and running and riding without stirrups. Mostly I wanted to keep things low key since we were scheduled to jump today. Omg! Yay. :)
So. Today we played with an interesting concept: getting close to the fence. I know it's totally dangerous and bad, but I'm always happier when a horse stands off and jumps instead of getting close to the fence. Bad, dangerous, frowned upon. Fortunately for me, Cuna thinks long spots are absolutely asinine and in the history of me riding him, has taken maybe two. Both on XC. At a mad gallop.
We started out the lesson jumping a little square oxer both directions with the placing poles set at 15'. This made for a very compressed stride to the jump. Because Cuna is smarter than the average bear, he knows that compressing his stride is hard work. THEREFORE, he would take the absolute largest stride possible, which put him right next to the fence.
Yikes! I stayed quiet and with him, and he kept saving me, and I eventually started calming down a little bit. It appears that Steph did not video this section, which is probably good. Other than all the interesting faces I'm sure I made, it wasn't terribly complimentary.
Then we started jumping simple patterns around the arena. She gave me lots of time in between the fences to get a good canter and relax.
In the above video, I gunned him at the vertical a bit, so I re-rode the pattern.
That was smoother.
Then we put the whole pattern together.
Finally, we did the exercise the whole lesson was building up to: the beloved S-curve!!
Oh yeah. If you're like me and you get bored of incessant video uploads, WATCH THIS ONE. I swear it's only like 11 seconds long and we are totally rocking.
I was actually pretty happy with how I rode. I'm going to keep up the no-stirrup work for increased leg stability and an independent seat, and I want to do more work in two point. Steph also recommended spending time in a bit of a half-seat, basically letting my breeches touch the saddle but not putting any weight in it. That will give me a greater range of motion over him and teach me to sit without using my seat as a driving aid.
Excellent. Now I'm going to go watch all my old videos with Cuna and enjoy noticing just how much we've improved.
PS I forgot. When we were jumping the individual fences, Steph had them up a little bit higher. Then she dropped them a bit for the S curve. Then she measured them. Our "low" course was 2'11" to 3'1". Omg!! And I wasn't even terrified!!