Thursday, February 9, 2012

A week of firsts ...

As I threw a leg over Tiki's back today, my own words echoed in my head.  I often preach at  encourage my students to work on the things that they're either not good at, or are hard for them to execute whenever I give them "free time" to warm up.  So, I decided to trot some jumps!  I HATE to trot jumps.  I'm not good at it; I get left behind, I let my rhythm change too much, and I always have the sense that I just don't have enough gas to get over jump.  So I decided to work on that!

Muffin hasn't jumped in about a month, so I set up a couple of small things.  I did a usual, unimaginative setup of outside, inside, outside, inside.  The 2 outsides were a low cavaletti oxer stack and a tallish crossrail.  The 2 insides were the coop sections sans standards, and a pole.  As I warmed up, the words of a non remembered BNT reverberated in my ears; "I may be in the minority, but when I jump I want to JUMP.  I walk, trot, and canter once around the ring each way, then I'm ready to jump."  I seriously can't remember who it was that said that, but it struck a chord within me. I think sometimes I get a little mired down in the complex day after day; sometimes simple is just what the Dr. ordered!

I did about 5 minutes of trotting both ways, cantered, and it was time to FINALLY jump:)  I felt pretty awesome; my leg felt really nice and secure.  I trotted the 4 jumps, starting towards the ingate on the outside crossrail.  It went perfectly; he stayed perfectly even, I kept my heel under my hip, and all 4 worked out no problem.  Turned it around and started with the other outside, same direction, and only had one jump where I got a little left behind, but I caught up at the last one:)  Rewarded myself, and cantered all of them starting with the first outside again, but this time away from the ingate.  NAILED every distance.  I sang "Row, row, row your boat" in my head as we cantered up to the jumps.  I think I've identified a potential distance wrecker for me; on the 2 diagonal jumps, he VERY slightly bulged and drifted just a touch.  I need to remain cognizant of that, and just make sure to keep my legs on and make sure his body stays absolutely straight.  Did them one more time, reversing again to the opposite outside, and got one slightly deep distance, but I sat up, whoaed, and kept my leg on; it worked out just fine.  After the last jump, I kept cantering and hopped over a random single verticle that looked to be about 2'6.  No hiccup:)  

Love my boy, love my boy, love my boy:)  He is the bomb.  Quit on a good note, and threw him a nice big armful of hay in his stall.  Tomorrow I will end with a little school in the dressage tack, where we will focus on our flatwork; hope to formulate a plan tonight so I don't end up wandering aimlessly.

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