Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lesson #74: Focusing on Jumping Details

While I get on Ariel today, ADW is riding a new gelding named Molson; whom (surprise surprise) Ariel doesn't like all that much. Today's lesson was focused working on our mindsets with respect to jumps. The last lesson I was clearly focused way to heavily on having everything "ready" as we are getting up the actual jump that I was getting to the point where I didn't quite know what to do once I got to the jumps or I wasn't paying enough attention to what the horse was doing. And simple as it is, it just wouldn't come together.

So, the plan is, to recondition our minds to perceiving jumps as "just another stride". Sheri set-up 3 sets of standards: 2 and 1 along the long sides of the arena. We went through everything in a relaxed yet controlled posting trot and remembered to encourage them forward coming up to the pole so that they don't decide to add in a step or skip or the like. And guess what? It works. I eliminate the extra skips and jumps once I remind Ariel to go forward as we get closer to the ground pole.

We go round and round without thinking too much about what we're doing. Gradually, the stakes are raised by arranging each pole into an x-jump and then into a low straight jump. There were some pretty bad jumps and some really good ones. In each instance, I re-examine what I am doing wrong in addition to Sheri's pointing out items that were visible to her. Things to continue working on (in, what I figure are, order that I need to focus on):
  1. maintain weight through heels--this is key for balance and even MORE important while jumping
  2. relax my knees so as not to "death grip" Ariel's shoulders
  3. sit up straight/don't lean forward or a number of things go wrong like heel/foot placement
  4. keep my shoulders broad and open with my chest facing "forward and up"
  5. aim for crest release about half way up the horse's neck
I have great news! Next month, I start my 2x/week lessons and I'm going to be using my extra vacation days to ride during the day so it'll be a much welcome break from working a 5 day week.

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally: = 3 x $2.00 = $6.00
To date: $91.00

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