Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lesson #80: Picking a Focal Point

Spring's been such a tease this year; it has gone from +2deg C to -15deg C, within 24 hours. Argh. Good thing Ariel decided to trot over to the gate when I got there. After getting tacked up, we head into the arena to get warmed up. It was a pretty standard warm-up with posting trot. The mission today? To get through the 3 jumps that gave me trouble on Friday.

I worked during the warm-up to take notice of what was off and knowing that I am crooked on one side, I was making an extra effort to keep things as straight as possible. We didn't do any canter work today (which is probably good) and instead, focused on ourselves and our mounts, at the jumps and were learning about the jumps and what to look out for. For example, the first jump was a bright orange and stripe. Then another added was faded wood that used to be painted in green, red and black stripes. Sheri tells us that the second one is harder for the horses to see until they get quite a bit closer so to keep in mind that "things that can go wrong" are likely to happen closer and you basically just need to ride through it b/c it's generally too late to turn back. I didn't realize that they had trouble seeing these jumps and was provided proof when Ariel trotted up to it lazily and then saw it and did a type of "WTF?!" and had to rush to get over it. Needless to say, it was messy for both of us.

This time, we decided to take the "troubled jump" first, followed by the other two and I was much more successful in making it over them. I continue to struggle with the turning angles and continuing to look towards where I want to ride towards. Although, the getting a focal point is getting there... slowly. When I remember, the ride is straighter but when I don't, it's crooked and she tends to drift right.

While my crest release is not too bad, I am having trouble with some of the other equitation items... like where my arms are going.  I tended to flap my arms open instead of keeping the armpits closed and I probably look like a bit of a chicken. hehehe!

We did plenty of sequences of the three jumps and sometimes it went well and sometimes not so well. I will keep an eye on the following, for next lesson:
  • arm pits closed
  • squat and butt back
  • pick a focal point
On a related note, Sheri mentions that one of her other adult students is seriously considering encouraging some of the adults to aim for a late season show off-property at a schooling level adults only show. It's mostly a social where other like-minded (horse-crazed) grown ups can get together and have some fun without feeling bad that the kids are kicking their butt. What a great idea! Something to aim towards as I continue to work on my riding for the coming months.

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally: = 2 x $2.00 = $4.00
To date: $119.00

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