Thursday, June 18, 2015

Flat to Fences

It's no secret that good flat work transfers over to good jump work. It gets preached at to everyone ever all the time. So it's no surprise that when jumping Bobby today, the same issues I've been working through during our dressage schools cropped up--namely losing control of the shoulders through lack of straightness.

barn cat life is tough

Warming up, I tired out my legs early by really working on making Bobby go correctly. I'm totally guilty of copping out on good flat work when getting ready to jump, but the falling in while trotting was a little too much for even my lazy ass. Fortunately, my brain is easily inspired by pretty, fancy, shiny things, and feeling Bobby start to straighten out and step under himself while tracking up like a grown up pony kept me entertained and focused.

At the canter I had him gallop forward and then come back without curling under. I shortened my reins up a bit more and had my hands further up his neck, but overall it wasn't too difficult. I think a lot of the curling/diving down comes from the tension of being in a show atmosphere. Never a bad thing to practice either way.

oh, those ears, robert.

Our jumping exercise for the day was one hundred percent for my own benefit. I set up two 3' verticals next to each other in the middle of the ring. Today was "roll back without fucking pulling over the jump, dammit" practice.

stop it.

Bobby was pretty much just along for the ride. The dude did no wrong over jumps today. He was forward but quiet, he waited to the base, and he cantered calmly off waiting for direction. After almost two weeks off from jumping and several days of doing nothing, I was super proud of him.

After doing each jump a few times by itself off of each lead, I commenced roll back procedure--simplified down to: DO NOT PULL IN THE AIR.


Basically my goal was to stop anticipating the turn and wait until we were done getting over the fucking jump before making a lovely, swooping half circle around to the other jump. We're not jumpers. We're eventers. We're not gunning for a tight time at this point in our lives. Calm is good. So is not pulling down the rail because you're pulling on your horse's face in midair. Just saying.

bobby "ran away" while i went to get his fly spray.
you rebel, you.

Being in the proper mindset to use my usually scattered to the wind brain, I was able to dominate that exercise pretty quickly and easily. The only problem I ran into was controlling Bobby's shoulder to keep him straight on approach to the jump. We had a bit of the old right drift creep up a few times. Straight shoulders for life, yo.

Since I hadn't been on for very long as everything was going pretty swimmingly for once, I decided to finish off with working on a figure eight through the middle of the ring by taking the jumps at an angle. Bobby's a rock star at angled jumps, so that wrapped up before too long.

We finished the ride by cantering through the lake in the outdoor a few times just for giggles.

Hopefully I can drag Hubby out this weekend since we won't be at a show. I need some new around the barn media!


  1. Looks like Robert's rocking the rollbacks :)

    So much alliteration.

  2. Wow, Bobby made it really far on his jailbreak. I'm impressed.

    Also, not pulling is like impossible. Just ask my right hand. Kudos for kicking the habit!

  3. I wish you could come to KY and be my coach. I'm not inventive

  4. bobby makes everything sound so easy lol

  5. What a great exercise! Would probably help me to sit up after the fences better

  6. I thought about doing something like this the other day (because my problem as well is getting the shoulders straight to the fence, so we can land on the correct lead).. I noticed someone in our arena placed guide poles on the ground, making a channel to the jump. But I figured if you (I) did this, I'd put the poles like a channel on the landing so I wouldn't land on his shoulder like I do but force us to land balanced and straight before turning.. I dunno- just something I was thinking about the other day!


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