EC has been quite creative about integrating gymnastics and pole work into our lessons, but with crazy cold temps (for here) freezing at least a third of the arena on a regular basis, it's been pretty much impossible to ride "real" courses (or really anything that doesn't fit into about an 80'x80' square) We finally got a good old pacific rainstorm today to thaw us out temporarily, so of course we had a jumping lesson!
We started with my nemesis (nemesises? nemesii?)...bending lines and bounces. Oh, and spoiler alert, we finished with them too ;)
Our course du jour (everything set small, about 2'):
|Still not setting jumps in the entire arena as we're supposed to freeze again indefinitely starting today!|
My tasks: remembering where my body parts go when jumping. Planning ahead. Changing leads in a timely fashion (we don't do flying changes yet, saving them for dressage, so one walk or trot stride to balance, then change). Controlling B's outside shoulder.
B's tasks: Going where I point her. Turning those shoulders. Staying in front of the leg. Not bucking, even when it's super tempting to do so.
General challenge: Our lesson was shared with a baby Clydesdale with minimal adjustability in the canter, so the distances were set for her. 2 baby Clyde strides = 2.5 normal Bridget strides. Good practice for me to sit and wait and stay out of B's way when we got to things weird. Also good practice for finding a collected canter on the 2 or 3 stride lines, and a forward one through the bounce! Confidence boosting, because even though I definitely failed a bit, nothing bad or scary happened, just an awkward jump or two.
I'm happy to say our new years restart paid dividends, because generally speaking, the pony was wonderful. Quick off my leg, maneuverable, and forward. Both EC and I were amazed that B didn't even think about quitting, even when she started to visibly tire!
I feel like I was the part of our partnership kind of phoning it in and letting the team down, but as I got back in the groove it got better. It's weird, dressage wise I almost always think I have a good feel for where I need to be and what I need to do as a rider. With jumping, if I go even a few days without I immediately lose what little I have learned and need to fumble around a bit before it comes back. I guess that's normal given jumping is a fairly recent development in my riding life?
At least there's always dressage ;)