I’ll admit, a little groan escaped my lips when I saw the text from New Trainer yesterday that we were going to jump in my lesson. Because jumping right now means grids. And grids are apparently my nemesis at the moment.
But grids it was!
This is what was set up (jumps a little lower) when I got on for my lesson but we didn’t start by going straight down the middle. Instead we jumped them in a diagonal pattern. The cross rail was going away from the other fences, then you swung back around to take the oxer going towards the end of the arena before finally coming back to the middle vertical (and then if all that went well, you went down the middle).
It did not start well. The oxer was set up around 2’6 and I freaked myself out, took my leg off and threw us at the fence. No surprise, Gus refused and I started hyperventilating. Thank God for New Trainer who, after I couldn’t get past my fear twice, immediately dropped it and ignored my mild panic attack, letting me quietly get myself put back together.
This exercise was all about accuracy and applying leg to the base of the jump. After the initial melt down, Gus and I really started to get it. Things clicked. It actually felt like we were jumping instead of stumbling over the fences.
And, as you can see, the fences quickly went back up.
I wish I had some video of this stuff because I actually felt good about the way I was riding and the way Gus was jumping. We didn’t hit every fence perfectly but it’s amazing what keeping the leg on the entire way and not throwing your shoulders away will do.
We also worked a lot on the first trot fence (maybe more my nemesis then the grids?). It’s not something that is coming easily to me but I think we made a little improvement last night. New Trainer had me think about it like trot lengthenings. I’m constantly trying to build power in the hocks but not letting it out until a few strides before the fence where I really put my leg on and let that power out. I understand the concept but executing it is another story. Still, we’ll keep working on it!
Can’t wait to get back to course work though.