I debated a good bit during the day on what exercise I should do, I wanted the App to pick his knees up and didn't want to push him too hard since we haven't jumped since September. In the end I went for bounces despite their level of difficulty because I really want to fix his current "hanging knees" habit. I would strongly prefer not to go cross country with the new instructor with him leaving his knees so far down. Fix your bad habit App!
|From spring, see the knees pointing downwards?|
The forearm should be level. VERY. BAD/DANGEROUS. HABIT.
|Sorry for the bad pic. Didn't realize how dark it turned out until too late.|
I then put everything up to 18" and went over it as bounces. While there weren't any issues, the App certainly did have to repeat the exercise several times to remember to pick his feet up. He knocked the poles several times, even knocking a pole down with his lazy legs. After a half dozen times he finally put forth the effort and picked his feet up correctly and thus I put the fences up to 2'. He knocked the poles the first time through but after that was perfect and put his legs where they were supposed to be. I repeated this at 2'3" without any issues, wahoo!. What does it look like to jump bounces at 2'3"? Pretty unimpressive as I just sit there and rock back and forth.
Finally I put the jump up to 2'6" and put him over it. 2'6" isn't that big of a jump, that is unless they are bounces. Ha! As a rider, bounces force you to sit up and sit back. The horse is landing with their front feet and jumping in the air again before their back legs really even touch the ground (you can see this if you go in slo-mo). As a result, the rider must be perfectly balanced over the horse else things go badly quickly. Too far ahead? The rider is then too far behind at the second bounce. Too far behind? Hard time trying to recover for the next bounce. The rider should stay in two point and stay balanced over these types of jumps. As a horse, bounces get significantly more difficult when you go past 2' because they are jumping with their front feet and finishing with their hind feet instead of rocking back and pushing off with their hind legs. As a result, 2'6" feels more like a 3' jump due to the effort needed. Yes, I got video (camera on the wall) AND figured out how to edit it to an uploadable size!
2'6" is where we had our first set of 2 poles down, the App got lazy and didn't push/pick up over the first jump leaving him no power to get over the second jump. A swift tap from the crop got him over the third jump though. I should have hit him over the first but was too slow and didn't support enough (bad rider!). The rest of the ride went very well with him not doing more than tapping the last rail with his back legs. Overall I am very happy with the ride. The App paid attention and learned/remembered how to do the exercise, the video proved he did pick his knees up and his forearms are level, the App was very willing and there were no fights created. I am happy with myself in that while I started out jumping ahead, I was able to fix my position and I jumped well. I will do this again on Thursday to hopefully solidify the lesson and make his new habit of hanging his knees be an old habit lol.
I am also happy I finally figured out how to edit video and keep it as a .avi file for uploading so I can share some of this. If only I could now have blazing fast internet so it didn't take over a half hour to upload an 18mb file so I could share more of these videos. Oh well, at least I have high speed internet right?