Thursday, March 17, 2016

Trying to recreate the magic at home... a lot harder sometimes than in lessons. Well duh! In lessons, I have an instructor holding my hand, giving me confidence which also gives Tillie confidence. So yea, it makes sense why the magic comes easier in lessons with the puppeting my instructors do that manipulates me and Tillie right where we need to be.

the beginnings of what we were trying to attempt (except this is the RIGHT way to do it)

The point of this post is to sort of laugh at myself and learn from my schooling ride last night with my barn mates. We had it all planned out. We would jump some jumps and set up a one stride line exercise of oxers.

Simple right? We do it every saturday in our P jump lessons...except P is there slowly building them up rather then putting them right up to the final height.

We are all smart adults...but for some reason we didnt think to go hmm maybe we should put these down to cross rails first.

So Tillie and I warm up beautifully. I let her canter out a bit more and she responded coming back nicely. My thought for this was, if I can find this balance during the show season where shes got enough gas to safely compete, but not too much she is harder to half halt Ill be golden.

Anyway, we pop over a small cross rail a few times, then a few random 2'6 ish verticals and she was fine. I worked on my release and trying to find a good distance in our rhythm and not always reverting to adding since that tends to be my go to.

The longer (non short) spot really promotes tillie to stretch better and jump up rather than over her shoulder

So after those felt good I looked at Brita and said ok lets try the one stride line (two one strides). I got a nice canter and made the turn...which in hindsight I should have circled because Tillie lost her shoulder but I closed my thigh and thought hey we got this.

Jump #1 we swiveled with Tillie taking off and seeing the other jumps and just reallllly backed off. so I landed in a heap, lost my left stirrup and in true - lets get er done fashion sat up, closed my leg and clucked her on.

Looking back to a more successful jump
 We got through it. Barely. Tillie landed and cantered off like we just finished and grand prix course with my left stirrup flopping around and all. Which I was super excited about in a way because A) I ALWAYS lose my right stirrup not my left which means maybe, just maybe I am evening out from my last few schooling rides working on my own alignment and B) I didnt feel at all unseated without that stirrup which hopefully means my stickability is improving.

MMMMAAAAYBE we should have been smarter about this and opted to take turns slowly building up to a 2'6 one stride grid eh?

I cant speak for the rest of us, but I can attest that my brain wasnt all there yesterday with how stressful life has been lately in other non horsey areas so Im giving myself a "laugh it off and Ill try to use more of my brain next time".

We did ultimately lower it and go through a few more times just fine and just sort of play around to rebuild our confidence (mostly mine). I found myself not feeling too happy with Tillie being uphill enough and wondered if I was being too hard on her, accurate in what I felt or if the judge from Sunday was still in my head.

Tillie also felt a bit different when switching diagonals which leads me to believe she was a bit weaker on one of her hinds...which it felt the right hind again to me. I always worry, but am trying to chaulk it up to some pretty crummy footing probably making her sore because when I got off to check her legs and poultice her to be over the top safe, both legs felt cold as ice.

So I did feel a teeeeennnyy bit better when a barn mate said she sneaked in a video and I saw it showing Tillie jumping pretty darn uphill. So maybe I need to stop worrying so much about it and just let her figure it out:

Shes getting over stuff without having trouble, she doesnt take rails down a lot at the uphill thing? Who cares (well yes it matters but I think it will come). My horse may not be a power house jumper, but she has game, is brave and does have scope even if it doesnt look all that amazing. And hey, these struggle bus rides that I apparently plan but not enough...Tillie clearly tells me what she thinks and it keeps us knowing where we need to be right?

As far as seeing my form, I now am realizing my release is getting there and my heels are too...but I now notice it isnt the release that is posing a problem, its how quickly I am sitting back in the saddle on landing. So back to the age old question of how to prevent that without my shoulders getting ahead?! UGH.


  1. omg imagine if the lines hadn't gotten remeasured tho... definitely a challenging exercise!! (isabel and i have wayyyyy toooooo much baggage with one stride grids of oxers to even attempt that without trainer p lol). all's well that ends well tho, right? and tillie looked cool calm and collected jumping around - always a win!

  2. I hate it when you are trying to recreate that feeling. It is so hard without someone in your ear.

  3. My BM and I were just talking about this last week--the whole, it's not pretty but it's getting done right thing. She said Bobby's never going to be a pretty jumper, but he's going about his job correctly, and she'd rather have that than a horse that just looks the part. So rock that maybe not-so-perfect look, Tillie. You got this!

  4. One strides are evil!