Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guess what I have to share?!?

So I rode last night and was super excited and created a whole blog post and blogger ate the entire post :(  As a result this one won't have near the awesomeness of my previous post.  The boarder was going to come out last night while I rode however life got in the way and she wasn't able to make it.  She is going to try to come out on Thursday now, we will see how things go anyway.  On the plus side she was willing to be my safety so I still got to jump!

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.
I got the exercise set up and again found my arena is just too small to do any real gymnastics so instead I took the first third of the exercise.  The exercise is for horses that rush and need to pick their feet up, bounces don't allow rushing and it really forces a horse to pick their feet up because the horse doesn't have time to do anything else (ie be lazy).  The full exercise is 3 bounces to a one stride vertical, one stride to 3 bounces.  Since I didn't have enough room or poles I made the exercise be only 3 bounces.  This is the book of my exercises, highly recommend it for anyone teaching a horse to jump.
Sorry for the bad pic.  Didn't realize how dark it turned out until too late.
After an uneventful warmup we trotted over the exercise with the poles down for the App to get an idea of what is coming.  I then put the first jump up to 18" and went over it with the bounce poles still on the ground.  While I normally jump straight to 2' I wanted to start small for bounces and then move up since I knew the first few times would be difficult for my lazy legged App.  After going over the first jump a couple of times I put the last jump up to 18" and left the middle pole down.  It forced the App to see where his feet went and he handled it all like a pro.

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?


  1. What great videos! You guys are doing great. Very impressive.

  2. Awesome!! You both look great.

    I know nothing about jumping, but I've been reading Amy's posts over at Slow and Steady ( and have been learning some. Have you read the posts she did on the Peter Adkins clinic? It was all very interesting. I bet you would like it since you're a jumper.