Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jumping Again!

I've been very busy with work and a few other things, so I feel like I haven't gotten to ride quite as much lately.  I've still had my two weekly lessons, but only about two shorter rides or a ride and lunge session in addition to that.  But Cupid is continuing to do well and I'm making some improvements too.

We've done one jumping lesson in each of the last two weeks.  I had been nervous about jumping again after such a long break, but Cupid was very good.  Our first time we did about thirty minutes of flatwork, then started with some poles.  First just trotting over a single pole, then adding a second, then a third, then replacing it with a little crossrail.  I'm happy to say the progress we've made in our flatwork is carrying over to our jumping.

This week started with just one little crossrail that we trotted into.  We did it from both directions a few times, then put it up to a small (probably 18 inch) vertical and cantered it both directions.  We were going to do a little course with three jumps, but then another horse came in to lunge and was kind of in the way so we just did the second two jumps, a crossrail and little brush box, as a line.  The focus was primarily on staying relaxed.  If I think Cupid is starting to get quick (which is relative, he doesn't do much) then I start to tense, which makes him tense too.  So before the jumps we did some circles with increasing and decreasing stride, so I can feel confident that he will come down if I ask.

In today's flat lesson we continued to work on bending, and shortening and lengthening the stride.  We also did a good bit of canter work, both on a 20 meter circle including a little spiraling in and out, and around the whole arena.  I'm still working on not leaning forward.  Today I thought about trying to lean back far enough to have my head touch Cupid's back.  Obviously I don't want to actually do that, but just thinking about that got me mostly straight only slightly forward! 

Begging for carrots!

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