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:
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!|
|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.
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