Friday, February 10, 2012

New Recipe for Success

Wow, out of five days this week I have ridden two. Sadness. I had someone offer to do a half lease on Jetta at the beginning of the school year, but last year I had been riding her at least four to five days a week so I declined. Now I am really wishing I had accepted! I might do something like that for next year though if it's anything like this year.

I pulled Jetta out of the pasture (she's finally coming to me instead of me coming to her!) and she was a little mudball! Geez pony, I was brushing off clouds of dirt. Her purple blankie is now brown with purple patches.

Ok, onto today's ride. Jetta was an angel! Like literally. I decided to jump because I haven't done it in a while and have really been itching to do some jumping. And so that's what we did. I had a couple jumps in mind so I set them up. Then I though What am I thinking? I haven't jumped her in two weeks and I want to hop over some unfamiliar jumps?? I ended up making one jump smaller because it scared me a tad, lol. I then (unintentionally) free-lunged Jetta over the jumps. I took her halter off to put her bridle on and she trotted off. Okayyy, well if you're going to do that then you'll have to work! She was game to jump them though, and it made me feel better when she easily cleared them in good form. I'm so excited to see how far we can go together!

Anyways, here's what I set up, a triple bar oxer and a large X with the barrels.

I have developed a new warm-up that has yielded a super good result - our "new recipe for success".
  1. Lunge first if I haven't ridden in a few days.
  2. Warm up on a loose rein at the walk and trot.
  3. Take up contact and do shoulder-in and leg-yeild at the trot.
  4. Start the "work", cantering, etc.
Jetta loves stretching and it really helps loosen up her back to do it at the trot, though today she was a little too enthusiastic and kept trying to snatch the reins out of my hands today. So, we warmed up and then headed for the jumps. Jetta was great - absolutely no refusals at all today, I guess that's reserved for shows, lol. I worked on keeping my leg still, my foot correctly in the stirrups, not leaning too far forward over the jumps and doing an automatic release, etc., etc. So much to do! We just trotted the jumps for today since we're out of practice but it went really well!

Overall, I was really pleased with her today, especially for how little I rode her this week. We finished up just in time to watch the sun set. What a wonderful day :)

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