But it was a good ride that I want to blog about. However, I am not one to blog without pictures so you're just going to get stock footage. Sorry.
No, I'm not sorry.
|eat your heart out, equitation queens.|
I took a break from building on my own course work because Sarah had a clear plan in mind for what she wanted to do for herself. I was super grateful for this because I still have no idea what my next jumping exercise is going to be. We set up two simple vertical lines--one at two strides (outside line), the other at three strides (inside line). Sarah's trying to rebuild her jumping confidence after a winter off, and fuck knows Bobby and I can always work on getting the correct striding in lines.
Warm up was a breeze as we started with everything as cross rails. When Sarah felt secure that she wasn't going to die, we moved the outside line to verticals at 2'3" and 2'6", and the inside line up to 2'3" and left the barrel standards jump as an X. That was also easy for all parties involved so the 2'3" vertical in the inside line got knocked up to 2'9". Or, as I told Sarah, "It's only 2'6", just like the other one!" Haha, trickster. She jumped through it super easily just like I knew she would, and was even brave enough to come through again once I told her how tall it really was.
|awkward slouching cantering picture because why not?|
It helped that I shared my newly rediscovered secret to having a relaxed, rhythmic jump. You guys are going to be blown away by this.
Are you ready?
No, the secret isn't sitting down. Don't do that. The secret is keeping your eyes up and not staring down the fence like you're going to burn it out of your path with your laser death rays for eyes. "I'm getting closer to the jump. Oh, God, it's coming. KEEP LOOKING AT IT. IT WILL MAGICALLY DISAPPEAR IF YOU STARE AT EVEN HARDER."
This never used to be a problem for me. In fact, keeping my eyes up used to be one of the very few things I was really good at jumping. Or maybe the only thing. That's debatable.
Anyway, I told Sarah my trick to reading the signs in the arena, or looking at the clock, or picking a spot on the wall, or whatever, so long as I wasn't glaring at the top pole. Turns out she was having the same issue and while Memphis isn't a neurotic nut bag like Bobby, it helped her not freak the fuck out. Simple, basic riding tricks you need to be reminded of every now and then.
|i can keep the birthday tiara pictures coming for weeks.|
Bobby had to keep jumping a bit after Sarah was done, and we ended with the barrels set at their top height of 3'6" three strides to the 2'9" vertical. The turn to the first jump was quite tight as three strides between jumps is a stretch for our small arena, but his canter was right on, he made the turn easily, and cantered into and out of the line like it was still set at cross rails. I'm getting a little bit excited about setting jumps back up in the outdoor.
Okay, I'm getting really excited. I want to jump big jumps on my big horse in a big arena.