Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sunday Funday

I am usually way too exhausted after teaching lessons all day to ride my own horse...but the weather was a beautiful spring - like day in the mid-60's that I couldnt resist. It was so fun too because I had my trusted 3 musketeers to help as jump crew and video...these are a few of my more advanced students that ALWAYS help and are a huge lifesaver many times over.

The end of our ride - all smiles and proud we can not only jump, but we can jump big and keep our heads screwed on:

 I actually used Tillie in an earlier lesson doing this very same exercise just as small x's and was super impressed with her keeping her cool and how well my student rode her (one of my three musketeers). I do always get a bit nervous for both my students and for Tillie because I care about each of them and want to set them both up for success. I was quite proud of them both!!!

So when it came time for my ride, I had the students come down and give me a lesson...I said ok, you tell me what to do and what to fix...what you see happening. I really want them to start being able to talk about what they see. They are great listeners and soak it all in, but I find by allowing them to say it out loud they can start "owning" the information on their own.

Look at those knees! 

I also realized this was my first time jumping outside of a lesson in months....and outside the indoor since before the blizzard. So I tried to remind myself to give Tillie the benefit of the doubt and work towards my goals of releasing more/upper body work and heels down. There was a one stride grid set up made of two one stride fences with the middle fence as an oxer.

So I warmed up while they set the grid height lower(I walked the distances first to be sure!) and started off trotting into the grid. Tillie was a bit excited so I did a few times through halting her at the fence. She needed the check a few times and did blow up on me at one point when she turned one of the one strides into a bounce...but it was for one circle afterwards and to be expected.

Sadly it wasnt caught on video.

Good mare Tillie!
I did school over a skinny a few times around 2-2'3 to start making her look for the fence/get more comfortable with goal for next schooling is to set a few different types out like the barrels on the sides and the mini coops we have. But once she jumped it both ways ok, I stuck with the grid.

But this gem was...not sure whats more awkard, her legs everywhere, her neck or my butt. 

The photo above really captures an awkward moment that really didnt feel all that awkward when riding through it. I had been slowly raising the height in the grid, but wanted to test her scope a bit and my positioning with this last fence and this was the first time jumping it at around 3ft. I dont think she expected it and sorta scraped by with an "UGHHH I WILL NOT TOUCH IT!!" but looking like a lama in the process. But hey, I am releasing and my leg is awesome! And my post worrying about folding...well apparently I can.


It felt really good to jump around and feel like I knew what to do, how to adjust and give the kids a few good laughs and let them tell me to release more, heels down!! etc. It actually really helped! I made a point to work on my goals and trust Tillie as she got better and more relaxed.

I mostly stuck to trotting in to keep things slow and because its so beneficial for Tillie but when she would land in canter and give me a nice rhythm I would do that as well.

Watching the footage, I am super impressed with how great Tillie is jumping and lifting over the first two fences...the last one you can tell she still isnt perfect. But I am reassuring myself this will come with time since it wasnt that long ago she jumped even the little fences like that. 

I do think I did a decent job working on my release and could see how it allowed Tillie to stretch more. Heres a clip from the summer over something little where shes jumping not so great like the last fence in the grid. So it does reassure me shell get there!

So heres the entire footage I got from schooling...see if you can hear the one time through that starts off with me not counting properly, yelling Tillie, WAIT....GOOD GIRL!!!! hahaha


  1. good tillie!!! your video is private tho :\

    1. aw she really looks good - very nonchalant about the height, and landing quietly too!

  2. Tillie has hops! You guys are looking good.