Friday, February 3, 2017

Getting the jump

After our lesson, I ended up not being able to go to the barn for two days in a row thanks to weather and then sickness.  So last week I only rode once, boo!  I tried to put some real work in my single ride, but I wasn't highly successful as scatterbrain was scatterbrained.  We worked on some dressage and tried more straight.  Mia got it a few times but also got very heavy and fast so we spent a lot of time reviewing basics.  Again.  We also tried going over the pole on the ground at the trot and canter, we did go over it but we only cantered over it quietly twice.  Homework not complete.

Tired appys be very tired.
Last weekend I met up with MC from the barn and we set up a course for angles.  She is training her 4 yr old over fences and wanted to teach angles, I am down for that!  It is a pretty simple exercise, the outside lines are 4 strides and the middle jump is set at a 2 stride distance.  You can then go along the outside or hit either of the diagonals to work on angles.  Since her horse is still learning, I set the poles up as raised poles/half x's with only one side of the pole in a jump cup.  Mia had zero problems with the angle exercise, we jump angles much sharper than this regularly.  Angles and skinnies have been a staple of our curriculum since day one.  What DID Mia have a problem with?  The basics.  Ha!

We laughed about it during the ride, put something hard in front of Mia and her talent shines through and she will go over anything in spectacular fashion.  Put something as simple as a pole on the ground and she just cannot do it.  Hmm.  I am also at fault, for the life of me I couldn't get the distances I needed 50% of the time.  I guess not only Mia needs the work, shh don't tell.  Mia would go over one jump/pole fine but would then accelerate to the next or go over two fine but not the third.  Or we would miss the distance to the first and Mia wouldn't settle her canter to hit the second jump, instead of compacting/expanding her canter, she just plowed forward, faster.  We certainly have our homework cut out for us before we go Novice this year.

Time to jump!
This week, the jumps were still set up so I skipped the boring basics that we should be focusing on, I bumped everything up to 2'6" and did the full exercise.  Mia was so much better than on Sunday, we hit our distance 95% of the time and Mia didn't race off (most of the time lol).  See?  Simple pole?  Unable to function.  2'6"?  Superstar.  Lol mare.  Our weakness?  Mia really likes to speed up in the last part(s) of the element and I really seem to like to get up out of the saddle way more than I should. At the end of the exercise, as long as I really focused on myself, I was jumping very well.  If I did that, however, Mia usually was falling apart.  I need to focus on both of us and my brain isn't doing that multi task well yet.  I keep telling myself we haven't been jumping for months, it will come back quickly.

Last night we worked on some dressage.  I worked on laterals a little and straight a good bit but we really worked on her canter.  I wanted to channel some serious bigger, not faster, let's get some jump in Mia's canter.  More power.  Until this point, we have been dealing more with a slower canter as when she gets faster, she falls flat on her forehand.  Last night I wanted to see if we could replicate some lesson work with a bigger, not faster canter.  People...omg her left lead canter?  Wow.  I wish I had video of it.  Lots of inside leg and lots of outside rein (and even more inside leg) and Mia became this powerhouse. OMG!  She was even stretching into the bridle while doing it, who is this horse!?

Not amused at the amount of effort required for eyebrow sweat
To the right, she came was her normal self though, no worries lol.  No magical switch.  Her right lead didn't have the same success, her haunches wanted to swing wildy, she would swap leads in the rear and she couldn't stop diving forward and going faster.  But if I have learned anything, it is if we can get it to the left, we can get it to the right.  It will just take 4x longer.  If I can get her weakest gait to be amazing?  This is going to be a super awesome year.We have a tentative lesson (AGAIN!!!!!) on Sunday, let's see if it happens!


  1. You guys look great in the video! Very jealous of your powerhouse canter :) What brand of bridle is that? I love the white piping.

    1. Thanks so much! It's a HDR dressage bridle.

  2. That looks like a really fun jump exercise! And Bobby agrees that simpler is harder lol

  3. So fun!! I love slicing exercises like that!!