Monday, November 25, 2013

All the Jumps

It was definitely the weekend of lessons. KO was also in town, so I signed up for a jumping lesson with her. I haven't ridden with her either since the spring or possibly the winter? Gosh, I've been slacking in that department.

The morning started off much better and I even managed to get 6 hours of sleep rather than the 4 I was running on the day before. I was still super grumpy though that early in the morning. Luckily I had packed the trailer and gotten it ready to go so all I had to do was toss Jetta in and go.

Sunrise at home

I did have a super funny panic attack though. I was sitting at a light waiting for it to turn green and I heard pawing come from the trailer. Misty is the horse that likes to paw and she'll do it occasionally in the trailer. Jetta doesn't usually paw in the trailer. I had a legitimate panic attack when I thought that maybe I had grabbed the wrong horse and brought Misty instead of Jetta! Luckily I was able to think back and double check myself that I had actually grabbed Jetta. Lack of sleep, I'm telling you...

The lesson was definitely worth the lack of sleep. When I woke up I was not in a good mood and wondering why I'd decided to do this. After all, it's not like I was probably going to be showing over the winter anyways, so why have a lesson?

Frosty morning. And isn't their barn gorgeous?

Jetta was very good warming up. KO had us leg yield on a straight line both ways (haunches-in and haunches-out on the same straight line) down one long wall, then do actual leg yields to the wall and back over on the other long wall. Jetta was a leg yielding machine. It was awesome. The only thing that KO commented on was me. The usual - sit up, eyes up, shoulders back, sit tall spiel that I always get. I needed that constant reminder after riding by myself for so long!

We moved on to cantering over poles and getting 7 strides or 9 strides. Jetta can package her canter very well, but not when it comes to doing poles. She thinks it's not possible. KO wanted us to do 10, but eventually we settled on a very nice 9 when Jetta decided it was not possible to canter a 10 stride. Mostly by launching over the first pole, then almost slipping and falling on the second pole. Dork. But 9 strides we could do nicely.

I was the only one jumping in our lesson. There was one other girl and she just did pole work. She had a very heavy/strong WB mare that she was riding and it was really interesting to see what she worked on. The mare was going in a double twisted wire full cheek and had absolutely no response to the bit, so they worked on canter-halt-canter transitions, really getting her horse to pick her back up in the halt - thinking of going "up" instead of "out" with the stride so it was easier to control the horses pace. Then they also worked on fitting 8 strides instead of 5 in on the same pole exercise that Jetta and I did by doing 10m circles whenever the horse got too fast, really focusing on turning with the outside rein so that her mare wouldn't swing her haunches out. They looked really good by the end.

Jumping all the jumps!

Anyways, Jetta. The next exercise was a 17' pole to a little jump to another pole set 17' away. The goal was to get one stride in after the first pole and before the jump, then one stride in after the jump and before the second pole. Once we mastered that, she made it even smaller, which Jetta did not like, but after some interesting attempts, we managed to do it twice and got to take a break.

Then we got to do a little jump with a tarp underneath it and panels. I wasn't sure what Jetta would think of it, but she hopped right over it without a second thought. We did that fence on the diagonal with a bending line to an oxer on the wall. We were supposed to go around a cone and get six strides in, but couldn't manage that so we settled for a nice 5. I needed to work on landing straight, looking where I was going and not leaning upon landing. Jetta though the little fence was too little so she was launching over it, part of the reason we were only getting 5 strides in there.

KO bumped the panel fence way up and then had us start doing a course. At this point I was feeling a little bummed out. I was surprised KO wanted us to do a full course when I felt like we couldn't even do one line correctly. I usually never have a bad jumping lesson with KO on Jetta, so I was disappointed especially since Jetta has been awesome jumping on our own. KO put together a huge course (to me) and I was just praying I wouldn't forget it. Penalty for forgetting a course is to do a full lap of the (very large) arena at the posting trot with no stirrups. And I'm very good at forgetting courses and very bad at stirrupless posting trot.

Luckily I didn't forget it though and Jetta was awesome. The course was an outside line, around to the panel/tarp fence on the diagonal/bending line back to the oxer on the wall. Then around to a swedish oxer bending line. Then the outside line on the opposite wall, 5 strides. Then a swedish oxer all by its lonesome on the diagonal, outside line again, finishing with a bending line that went from a fence on the diagonal going to the right to a fence on the diagonal going left. So 13 fences total. Yikes.

The only issue we had was the outside line with 5 strides. I didn't ride the first fence well enough and didn't have my leg on so Jetta kind of looked at it and jumped crooked. We got 6 and a half strides in basically and it wasn't very pretty. The rest of the course was awesome though. We landed straight. I looked where I was going. We got all of our leads. I gave a good release, I sat up. Everything just clicked. We did it once more just to get that 5 strides in on the outside line. Again, everything was perfect. The only complaint KO had was that I pushed Jetta to go too fast for the 5 strides instead of just lengthening the stride. Story of my life.

But it was good! She was super complementary of how I was riding the fences and how Jetta was doing. She asked if I was planning on eventing her and I said yes, that we were going to do Inavale. I thought it was interesting that she said Inavale was the toughest show to do the lower levels at. She recommended that I also do NWEC in May or September and/or the Young Rider show. So we'll see. I'd like to do at least two eventing shows, but that's only if my budget permits and we end up doing enough prep work. One eventing show usually wipes out my horse show money for the summer, so it's only if I plan ahead and set enough aside or get it paid for again by the eventing or dressage team.

Overall, it was a really good horse weekend. I think I got my horse fix to get me through the next couple week of final exams and projects!


  1. Glad you got enough horse time to power through the school work!

  2. Sounds like it was just what you needed. Your farm looks so beautiful!