Sunday, May 4, 2008

Forward Jumping

After conditioning sets on Friday, I suspected Brego would be tired, but I wanted to go ahead with some short jumping work. I really need to improve the strength of my position riding the new powerhouse.

I carefully felt all four legs prior to tack up. Cool and firm, no swelling. So I checked his back and tacked up. I am not going to let anything slip anymore. A causal attitude works against the horse.

I took an extra long warmup at the walk (about 30 minutes), until Brego's back was really swinging and he was moving forward into contact without urging. It was cold and rainy and everyone was a little tight. I was to really listen to him. Then I asked for the trot and boom-boom-boom we had the most gorgeous huge trot. This was the first really forward trot I had in my jumping saddle and I was very focused on keeping my balance and staying with him. He was really lovely.

At the canter, he was tired, but not dragging. I decided to jump him over a 2'9" vertical twice to see what kind of horse I would have at the end of a ride. Tired, but not exhausted. I came around to the right and he locked on and we just nailed it. A nice full distance, great round form, cantered off as nice as could be. I got dislodged a bit, but I corrected it the second time around. The second fence he got closer and mostly cantered it, which is a response I expect when he is more fatigued, so it was a good exercise.

His jumping is great, he tries well. I just need to get stronger. I am going to start some cross training, because until Brego gets more fit, he will get two days off between serious rides, and I need all the work I can get. So I will check on him Sunday and Monday, bearing apples, but he gets to rest. Then back to dressage on Tuesday. I want him fresh for dressage to keep bad, lazy habits from creeping back in.

I am loving the new barn more and more. Something I didn't consider, however, was that at a busy barn, there are lots of people around, just hanging out, resting between rides or after lessons. And Brego is a bit of a ham, so there was anywhere from 4 to 7 people watching my ride yesterday. Most of the riders are hunter riders, including one experienced trainer, and I do not have the equitation to play in that game. So some pressure to not completely blow it, and of course my loose position makes me cringe. People were very supportive and kind, however, so I just need to focus on my horse, my ride, and where I need to improve.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People love to watch you and Brego in the ring... It's so amazing to see a HUGE horse soar over the fences :)