Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One good exercise, two good rides

Last week after our IHSA show we took a break from riding for a couple days to let the school horses have a rest. Instead of our normal riding Hunter class, we spent an hour in a "theory" class, watching videos of lots of different hunters and comparing why we thought some were better than others. For anyone who follows the hunter ring at all, you know that Rumba, ridden by John French just won the Hunter Derby Finals with three STELLAR rounds over some really cool jumps. To see the video, CLICK HERE

Anyway, along with that, we also watched some of the 1998 (?) Maclay Finals. We picked apart the course and analyzed how some riders set their horses up correctly or incorrectly for the questions being asked. Last Thursday, we decided to tackle some of those same questions in our class, and M set up a course of ground poles and flower boxes to see where we all were. Let's just say that lots of people had trouble...including myself, although M admitted after the class that she had been the most proud of the way I handled the very spooky horse that I was riding. We decided to ride the same horses again today and work out some more of the kinks. Todays course was a course of jumps that asked many of the same questions. Here is a diagram below (don't make fun of my awesome Paint drawing LOL)

We started in a two point or half seat at 1) over a single trot pole and then made a left hand turn to 2) three 9ft trot poles. This was to set up our horses tempo and pace and see if they were behind our leg or not. From the 9ft rails we made a LEFT hand turn around fence 5 and continued down center line to fence 3) a single white plank vertical with a 7ft take off and landing rail, which required a more collected trot then the 9ft trot poles. After landing fence 3, we turned inside fence 7 and trotted up to fence 4) a single yellow flower box flanked by two white plank standards. After 4 we were to canter halfway down the line and then bring our horses back to trot to jump fence 5) a brown riviera box with a rail on top. Landing in canter, we continued over pole 1 again and then turned to fence 6) a single white plank vertical. We jumped that and then rode a bending line back over fence 4 in the opposite direction before continuing for fence 7) which was a single red flower box set right against the rail. After that, we cantered down the long side to fence 8) a white oxer with a yellow flower box and then continued back around to jump fence 5 from the opposite direction and rode a bending line to fence 9) another single flower box. To finish we were to canter down the rest of the diaganol and halt on a straight line.

Again I rode Cruz, the spooky little Thoroughbred whom I have become really fond of. We seriously rocked this exercise...he didn't spook or stop at a single jump and our oxer fence was BEAUTIFUL! I was so happy with my ride and so proud of him! I want to set this same kind of thing up for Johnny and see how he does with it :)

Speaking of Johnny, after class I went out to ride him and worked him in draw reins for about 15-20 minutes, just walk/trot/canter so that he could feel them and figure them out a bit. I didn't want him to get sore, so I didn't ride a whole ton off them (not that I ever really do...) but I just wanted to kind of set a "perimeter" for a frame and then softly encourage him to stay with in that perimeter. I will tell you this though...for the first time ever he really kept his back up and underneith him, and his canter had moments of super round brilliance where he actually got BOUNCY. Not only that, but we also got our right lead canter on the first try :)

I'm home now for Thanksgiving break so I wont get to see Johnny again until Thursday (I'm driving up Thurs, Sat and then going Sunday to see him when I go back to school for the week...we are doing our Thanksgiving on Friday because Mom has to work) but I think I'm definetly going to set up some exercises to work through with him. I think that it's time now in his training to start asking him some harder questions. Clearly, since he did so well at the show, trotting over some small verticals is something that he's got under control and it's time to start teaching him some more things. What an adventure this all is!

More tomorrow...I stopped in to see Emmy, who is super fat and super filthy from living out in the field. I think she's getting bored with retirement though...Dad says she's cribbing all the time (she's always cribbed...just never obsessively) and on everything she can. Not a good sign :( Pookie pony wants to be ridden again? I will have to get down and dirty tomorrow to get all of the ten layers of mud off her and take her out for a hack :)


No comments:

Post a Comment