What I did see, however, was a HUGE improvement in my jumping. As I realized at our last show, I had some very serious issues that were not fixing themselves. And while I didn't do a huge amount of jumping between then and now, I did do some and what I did, I forced myself to work on myself every time. Only small jumps, paying special attention to my position over each fence. I think it paid off!
Take this picture for example. She has come in slightly close and, as a result, is making a very nice round effort. I am slightly butt high in the saddle but my heels are nicely down, my hands are soft and on her neck and I am not off balance.
Take this big ass Novice table. It is a little bigger IRL than in the pic, I think the pic makes it look small. To me anyway LOL! Again my heel is nicely down which has anchored my weight nicely. My leg is vertical and my back is straight and my head is up. This was actually a cool scenario because I lost my reins as I was landing. In about .3 seconds, I lose my right rein and land with only one rein. Thankfully Mia was behaving quite nicely (this was right after her "surprise" at the combination) and I survived without her taking off on me.
This is also a Novice level fence, though it is more wide than tall so it doesn't look as impressive as above. Mia has given a good effort and I am not thrown out of the tack. I still have my heels down and nice soft hands. I am following her motion and it is going to be a good landing even with her looking at the camera instead of where she is to be going.
This is my new favorite picture as it shows what I am SUPPOSED to do if I ride like a fricken Novice rider instead of a damn noob. What you don't see is my head. In every single picture, I am looking up and ahead. Not a single jump that weekend had me looking at her damn ears, that is something I do ALL THE TIME. Why do I look at her ears or down towards the jump??? Who knows, but it has been SUCH a bad habit. It wasn't around on this weekend!
Here is something I don't typically do. I am posting some of my fails. I know they are fails, no need to flame me, repost them saying how bad they are, etc. I know they are bad :(
The bad pictures.
|Heel's y'all. Where are the heels. At least I am balanced?|
|What the doh am I doing? Tring to jump behind the saddle?|
The worst pictures.
|Fail, fail, fail.|
|Heels. Need weight in those damn heels!|
This picture is actually one of the best of the entire weekend, I am including it so you can see how hard it was raining during our ride. Me? Well no weight in stirrups but am not yanking on the mare's face and am not being thrown out of the saddle so that is progress. XC went much better.
So overall, I am happy. It is the little things, I was horrified by my performance at our last show enough to make a significant difference. And I am seeing a significant difference! In every picture from this past weekend I was looking UP, my heels were DOWN and my back was flat (as much as it can appear in a vest). So I am going to keep getting better because I finally reached the bottom and am only coming back up. Here is to better equitation all around!