Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lesson #73: Don't think, just jump

I start the morning by going out to the paddock to get Ariel... I call her this time and she turns away and actually moves away from me. Argh. I want to ask if she was trained to come when called because lately, she's been moody (then again... she's a mare) and not particularly interested to coming in to work. Today is no different, unfortunately; so I trudge out into the ankle deep snow to bring her in.

It's good that ADW is riding Quinn today because... no more ear pinning with Ariel! Ariel and Quinn seem to have some bizarre lesbian relationship but known not to like the other horses (particularly the geldings) and usually ADW is riding Bonspiel whom is Ariel's arch-nemesis. ADW chuckles that we're all very accepting around here and we start our lesson.

The aim was the crest release which is one of the critical aspects of proper jumping position. We start with the flat. Lots of trotting over the poles at a consistent rhythm and at a good tempo while keeping them horses nice and relaxed--i.e. stretching forward. Sounds a little like my piano lessons. Anyways, Ariel is very much in heat (*sigh*) as she presents herself to one of the resident geldings while in the cross-ties so she's tense and agitated (not to mention super slutty) during the warm-up.

The perfect picture:

It takes some time to get her together and we work on focusing on keeping the rhythm consistent. It takes a good chunk of the lesson to get this done! Argh. Despite this, we continue to move forward, building up our goal for the lesson by working on various aspects of our jump position. We start with a low X jump and so that helps us focus on positioning and less to worry about with the actual jump itself. I am finding that I am either too heavy on her or my upper body position isn't right. But it isn't as evident until we move up the X jump and then the jumps seem to feel like they're much higher than the previous one! I start to over think things now... to the point where I'm mentally checking all my criteria and by the time the jump is there, I'm not quite prepared and clearly have my mind on all the other things. But, when you jump, all the basic stuff should be second nature already and thinking about all that just gets in the way.

We are reminded that a jump is simply another stride you're riding and not to think too much into it. Especially with our goal today... our bodies should (if all else remains correct) fall together with the jump. Sheri reminds us to relax our hips and keep our chests open--kind of like walking with good posture, I suppose. I achieve this a couple times... but the other times I'm left behind and get ricocheted back and forth at and after the jump. Ideally, our bodies are meant to move with the horse at all times and a jump should be no different.

In time, I tell myself, I won't need to think about it and we'll just be able to jump.

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally: = 3 x $2.00 = $6.00
To date: $85.00

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