Sunday, February 12, 2017

Jump Schooling

Yesterday I was just going to have a light hack on Casey when one of my closest barn friends showed up at the barn! I mostly ride alone (90% of the time) and so I am always psyched when I get to ride with other people, especially when they are my friends!

My friend and I quickly decided that we should have a fun day of jumping together. I was going to ride Casey and she was going to ride our trainer's mare Ava (who is Casey's BFF), since her mare is brand-new to her and is no-where near jumping ready. We warmed up by just doing basic trot and canter work, and right when we were getting ready to jump the man who works at the barn showed up with his awesome professional camera and asked if we wanted some photos of us jumping. We of course said yes, because who doesn't love getting awesome jump photos?
Warming up
We had a blast just messing around over fun jumps. I set up all of the jumps at different heights and different angles so that we wouldn't have to reset the jumps at all. My friend only jumped the lower crossrails (since she wasn't riding her own horse) and after she finished jumping she acted like a trainer for me, giving me feedback and coming up with tricky things for me to try with Casey. It was really nice of her to do that since she definitely didn't have to, but I think that she had fun too!

Since it wasn't a formal lesson, I'm not going into tons of detail about what we did, but here were my main takeaways (the vast majority of these are really the insights of my friend): 

- Casey's canter is fricking phenomenal right now and is a pleasure to ride.
To die for canter
Looking good horsie!
- I need to remember that even though Casey is a hot horse, she still needs leg added while on course.
Soooo exited for crossrails!
I swear she looks so happy in every jumping photo
- Casey struggles with rollbacks. We have been focusing so much on collection on straight jumping lines that now it is really apparent that we also need to focus on balance around turns in-between jumps. So more roll-backs in the future!
She is sometimes the queen of the struggle bus
- My horse is crazy talented. Even though I was asking her to do new and "scary" things, like jump a mega crossrail made out of the white planks that she despises, or do three roll-backs in a row, she was totally willing and able to do what I asked of her as long as I supported her.
She hated this thing, but jumped it anyways

- My position has made a lot of improvement, but I still have a lot of work to do (look ahead rather than at the jump, stirrups are definitely at least a whole too long, yadda yadda).
Just need to remember to look straight ahead
- Casey's jumping form is getting really nice as long as she has the right distance and angle to the jump. If conditions are less than perfect she struggles a bit (yet she doesn't always listen when I try to help...) I think that this will be improved just by gaining more experience, but if I keep giving her challenging things to work on, then her progress might be sped up.
Literally the cutest
Really it was just a perfect day. I had so much fun, and I know that everyone else did too. I love days like that :)
My giddy smile says it all :)
What's your perfect riding day?

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