Monday, December 1, 2014

Lesson #152: Leaning Into the Jump

I just wanted to put it out there that +ADW and I were part of the Erin Santa Claus parade over the weekend! I'll put together a post for that later this week but for now, I'm going to focus on the details of the lesson on Sunday.

Something new for this lesson though: new stirrup irons. I've used those quick release type that are closed with an elastic and the standard metal ones that aren't fancy in any fashion. But Sunday's lesson had new irons... flexible jointed stirrup irons. I read a forum thread about these and it looks like mixed reviews from riders of all ages. The intent is to create more flexibility and comfort in your ankles and knees and help bring the heels down more. I found that it didn't maintain stability in my ride and I even had to take the stirrups up 2 holes. That said though, it's only 1 ride so far so it's not really indicative of how I'll actually ride in them as I use them more.

We had a brief warm up that wasn't particularly intense that let us just move around the arena and limber up some. We were riding with one of the advanced students in the class because she was school a newer pony over fences. Watching her ride over fences (even bitty ones) is amazing b/c everything flows for her. *sigh* If only one day... but let's come back down to Earth for a minute here: she rides 5-6 times a week and has been riding since she was a tot and has worked several different ponies and horses--some which have been particularly challenging mounts.

There are advantages to being that moody mare..

We work on the same course work as the last lesson and Ariel is fighting me around corners and just giving me a mouthful of disagreements. Again, the right rein isn't quite right and I find myself really struggling to keep her straight and on the rail. When we got into the jumps, my problem was being pointed out to me that my leg slips back... as if I'm taking a jump myself! The difference from this lesson's jumps versus the last is that these jumps were horizontals (though low) and I find myself really over thinking things with these jumps more. Instead of pushing back with my hips and folding there, I find myself jumping the jump too.

I do have a few good ones but when I get anxious to anticipate something, I do just that: I find myself leaning forward into the jump as Ariel is taking off. I am using new stirrup irons but that might be the explanation for me to notice that I need to fold at the hip... and not worry that I'll be left behind.

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