Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Miles To Go

Looking at the weather for the week, I decided to get right back into work after the dressage show to take advantage of dry evenings before the rain the latter half of the week. Monday, we did a little jumping session, where I worked again on my foundation. I posted the canter, trying to really standup in the saddle at the top of my post. Most of my trots were double posting. I also did a standing balancing exercise relayed to me verbally by my trainer in Texas.

Both Brego and I spent a few minutes get reacquainted with my weight being more forward in the jumping saddle and my legs squeezing high on his side, especially in the canter departs. But we figured out the saddle switch without too much trouble, yet another skill required of eventers.

I ended the jumping session by taking Brego over a single 3' oxer. The approach was lacking in impulsion, but he rocked back and sailed over it with very little effort. He was also mentally forward and never thought twice about it. Just a safe, honest jump, compensating for my inability to get him moving on the approach. Brego jumps pretty round, and I definitely am still not as tight as I should be on the bigger fences, but I felt more secure in general.

Tonight, I focused on conditioning. I planned on doing 3 five-minute trot sets, with three-minute walking breaks, followed by 3 three minute canter sets, again with three minutes walking between. I ended up dropping the last canter set based upon Brego's recovery (or lack thereof) during the walk breaks. He's been in work for three solid days, and probably due for another body clip so he's suffering from the sunny, dry warmth, but I am still concerned about his conditioning.

To me, conditioning is still the biggest question mark around being successful at our first recognized event later in the summer. Dressage is pretty decent, he's proven that the height of fences (2'7") is no problem. It's getting around the course with enough gas to be both safe and lower the risk of injury that is still unknown. A horse his size needs not only his heart and lungs to be working, but his legs and tendons need to be up to the challenge as well. As his fitness goes up, the risk of injury goes down. I don't think it's possible for him to be too fit.

So I am going to start really focusing on more time in the saddle every ride, more active rides, and dedicated conditioning rides twice a week. It will be hard to fit in with my full-time work schedule (darn work always getting in the way!), but I think it's something I need to do to protect Brego from the wear and tear of even the lowest level of eventing.

As for the 10 mile Hunter Pace this weekend, we are in the hilltopping division, so I plan on taking our time, lots of walking and trotting, and just riding forward to the fences. Oh, and as always, having a blast!


Funder said...

Ok, I understand what you mean when you say double posting, but why are you doing it? I read the post about your lower leg but I got kinda lost because I'm basically a self-taught yahoo :)

Daun said...

I have a tendency to swing my lower leg back which weakens my base of support. When I double post, if my leg is not sufficiently under me and my weight balanced, I will fall back during the second bounce of the double post. Double posting the trot and posting the canter exposes my poor balance, which usually means I am using my hands to balance during normal posting or riding.

So if I can train my leg to stay put and solid, then I get a much more independent seat and hands during normal riding.

I hope this helps!

Funder said...

I think that makes sense! Thanks.

Beckz said...

Hey I have an award for you at my blog, come pick it up :)

Stacey and Klein said...

I love the conditioning blogs! It really helps me have some kind of idea on what a serious rider with a goal is doing with her Perch. They're extremely helpful for Klein and I. I'm thinking of maybe starting a Klein blog now.