Thursday, July 14, 2016

Show Prep

Cupid and I are getting ready for our first hunter/jumper show!!  Hopefully the camp experience will help us both be more relaxed in a different environment.  I am tentatively planning on entering the crossrail division, which has three classes over fences (two hunter and one equitation) and two flat classes (one pleasure and one equitation) over two days. 

In my first lesson this week we practiced a little course.  We started with just one jump, focusing on coming in straight and staying straight over and through it.  I tend to arc coming into the jump (turn too late/wide and angle back), and Cupid drifts leaving it!  We trotted it a few times, then cantered it each direction/lead. 

Then we added a second jump, the little brush box landing and circling back kind of in a big figure eight.  Then we added a third jump, and finally a long line.  It was funny, since we kept building on the course Cupid seemed to know where we were going and I didn't really need to steer much.  We cantered almost the entire course except a bit of a rollback to the final two since I thought it might be a little tight.  Cupid was super, very relaxed and listening.  I did pretty good too - I focused on sitting upright and staying relaxed myself.  The pole work we did last week was helpful, I'm starting to develop a better feel of where we should be taking off from and we are working on riding to the base of the jump and avoiding the long spots.
Hunter pony - no more flash noseband or martingale!
Yesterday I wasn't able to ride in the morning, so went after work.  At first when I saw three other horses in the arena, including two lessons, my first thought was to go to the other arena, or just ride around outside.  But I decided I should force myself to ride amid the distractions, it generally bothers me more than Cupid.  We had a pretty easy ride, about half and hour of walk/trot and I did a few laps in two points for my legs.

In our second lesson this week we primarily did flatwork.  I told my instructor I wanted to practice turning off the outside rein a bit because I was having a little trouble yesterday.  We also did a little haunches-in work, which is hard for me because I can't see if Cupid is doing it and am can't always feel it.  But our instructor said he was doing it correctly, and that his lateral work is pretty good overall for this stage in our training.  By 8am it was already pretty warm, and I think both Cupid and I got tired quicker.  We finished up with a little jump, starting as a crossrail ending up about 18" vertical with a pole on either side to help get Cupid round.  He was very good, I am very happy with how things have been going.

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