Sunday, May 17, 2009

Belated: Jumping Lesson

Last Wednesday, I had an excellent jumping lesson with my neighbor/trainer. It was our first jumping lesson of the season and first with my new trainer, so I was nervous that we would do poorly. As always, I was worried that a "This horse should not be jumping" verdict would come forth from a professional.

As always, I need not have worried.

The theme of the lesson was "forward". Specifically, go forward away from the fence. Be quiet to the fence, allow him to think about it, then bam go fast after the fence which sets up the impulsion for the next fence. This is very much in line with the work that Steuart Pittman taught me about riding cross country fences.

We also trotted the fences. One thing I love about my trainer is that she is big on fundamentals and not rushing through training. One valuable skill a horse must have is to be able to be forward enough to trot a large fence. Needless to say, this is something I have never worked on. I use Brego's canter to propel us over the fence and never school from the trot. This is a big hole in our discipline and ability. My trainer means to plug the hole.

So despite my skepticism, we trotted fences. And of course, the key to trotting fences nicely is having a forward trot (which is why I have been so unsuccessful), so the real lesson of the day was about getting a forward trot when I asked for it without any resistance. Once we had the trot, the fences were easy.

So the video is somewhat boring, nothing earth shattering, a bunch of trotted fences. But the quality of the work is what makes me happy. Brego just worked well.

First Jumping Lesson of 2009 from Eventing Percheron on Vimeo.

At the end, my trainer agreed that Brego loved to jump and he should be jumping. She thought they were easy for him and he could trot 3'6" with no problem. She did not want us to rush up the training scale because she thought Brego had enough quality as a jumper to teach him properly and slowly so he would go farther.

As for my form, she said I was loose and I tipped forward but she was not too concerned about it, there was time to work on it and I was in no danger of killing myself. I got a big green light to jump at will at the hunter pace. It was a very positive lesson.


Susan Quinn said...

Gotta tell ya I LIKE the way your instructor teaches jumping! She is so positive and confidence-instilling for both you and Brego! I liked how she was emphasizing the basics while adapting the lesson to your horse.
He clearly has a knack for jumping and (BTW) the dressage work is also helping him to jump as well.
Great to watch and as always, Daun, so inspiring.

MY PERCHERON ARRIVES TOMORROW. She's 16.3h, black with a white star on her forehead. She's been foxhunting for the past three years, and I'm so hoping she passes her vetting and her 1-week trial!

I had thought of just using her for dressage and hacking out. But watching you and Brego is making me think it's time to get back into eventing. (Bad news for Blue Cross/Blue Shield!!!)

Keep your fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

Just want to say: He is so freakin' cute! And - powerful looking, not heavy at all!

Julia said...

Wow, he trots those like they're nothing! And he still looked great doing it. My percheron also loves to jump and i can see him in Brego! So fun to watch your videos! :)

Anonymous said...

The video is wonderful - I just love your horse! He does look like he could easily handle something much bigger. I like your trainer's approach as well - fundamentals are so important.

Tripple Spring said...

Congrats on having an awesome lesson! I plan on jumping today for the first time since November (had a bad fall on XC) and I'm just hoping I don't get bucked off!!!

Chris said...

As the owner of another Brego (but in this case a 14.3hh Spanish Mustang stallion in the UK) all I can say is great stuff and also good choice of name