Wednesday, September 23, 2015

course work with Izzy

This weeks' lesson at OF went quite nicely. I wasn't sure which horse I'd have, bc Isabel had continued to feel a bit resistant and against my hand in our rides following the last lesson with Dan, plus we ended up jumping a lot more than usual throughout the week.

i love everything about her. reeeeeeeeally wish i'd learn to release tho!
Typically I only jump in lessons (2x weekly), but I hopped over a couple cross rails last Thursday to test out the Barnsby (fail), and then jumped around again on Friday when the trainers were setting up a course for a show and wanted to see it ridden.

can we all just agree that she's the most beautiful horse?
So I was slightly worried that the mare would be a little sour for the lesson. She wasn't tho. In fact she actually played very nicely for the warm up flat work, even tho I didn't really push for much. Good mare!!

she's flying!!!
Jumping was on point too. We jumped a couple singles, then a bending line and then the same outside triple line from last week. Tho we turned it around this time - coming from the very forward 3 to the short 1. Given those measurements, and the fact that all of the horses were kinda looky coming through the line (not entirely sure why; Isabel was no exception), I opted to fit in 4 rather than gunning for the 3.

in and out with mostly no problem
Then we went straight to the coursework. Started with the coop and finishing with the table (!!). Many of the fences were in the same place as last week, but the triple bar and inside single relocated, and the two outside oxers became a bending line. Isabel was really really good. I was super happy with her canter, tho felt like I still haven't mastered 'moving forward' to the fences.

lots of twisty turns!!
I'm getting better about the 'dramatic rebalance' through the corners, but still whoa too much to the fence. That whoa needs to happen earlier so I can start adding more forward in the last couple strides to the jump. (and adding forward does NOT mean pumping around with my upper body!!)

I also look pretty tight through my shoulders/elbows/hands too - and there's really not a lot of release happening. I'm thinking the two things are related - my hands stay back because I'm still whoa-ing to the fence. Maybe once I get the feel for moving forward to the fence my hands will naturally move forward too? Idk. Ugh. I feel so solid in my leg that it's frustrating to still look so defensive with my hands.

wheeeeee!!!
But really everything went very smoothly - right up to and including the final fence, a "table" built from boxes and the liver pool. The liver pool was set on a pole too, meaning it can be adjusted to different heights. How freakin creative is this?!? 

here's how you practice xc tables in the arena. clever clever! 
This is maybe one of my favorite things about riding with Trainer P - she just comes up with the greatest ideas for jumps, and always builds neat courses.

izzy is clearly unimpressed. and i'm still pulling ugh. 
We went through everything at BN height (full course is in the video) and called it good. P then raised everything to N height but I opted to be finished instead of going again. Really I would have preferred to build up to that height sooner so that we could have done the course at that size rather than at BN... Esp bc I didn't want to jump a ton given Isabel's busy week...


We will see how it shakes out next week. Perhaps I will opt out of doing the course at BN height and just wait to take my turn until it's gone up? Idk... I just don't feel like Izzy needs to jump a lot, and she usually gets it done well enough on the first try that I don't want to over-school her or make her dull. But I also want to jump bigger things (esp as we prepare for our next event on Oct 4). It's all about balance, I guess!

All the same tho, she's jumping around so well and so easily right now I'm not sure the height really even makes a difference.

31 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. she really is such a good girl - and i think she really likes it!

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  2. That was a really lovely course!! I can really see you thinking about your distance and adjusting Izzy - and I think that's really cool cause I can't do that yet lol ;) And your lower leg is looking super, super solid too! Also envious of that ;) just gotta practice, practice! I'm have the same issue with my arms getting tight and kind of holding back. I've been told to just focus on moving them like a jockey moves their arms as we approach the jump. It's a very exaggerated motion, but at least it gets me thinking along those lines!

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    1. thanks! i feel like the lower leg pieces are really coming together, and my eye has been able to develop right along with our canter. that tightness in the arms is frustrating tho - and i learned in my lesson last night that it's actually turned into a crutch for isabel now too... when my trainer told me to just let go and leave the reins alone allllllll the wheels fell off the bus. oops!! like you say tho - just gotta keep practicing ;)

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  3. I agree iz is everything! Such a game horse, up for anything! Love the forward ride!

    But brave yourself:
    I totally think you should get one of those 90s eventing hat covers with the puff ball like one of the girls had in the video watching. It just screams Izzy to me. BUT I'm crazy strange.

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    1. haha i kinda LOVE those little pom poms or whatever they are called, but suspect isabel would resent them as 'not dignified enough' lol. she prefers tiaras :)

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  5. Haha! I love how you think clever idea and I think terrifying. It does look fun when you're jumping it though.

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    1. lol it's a mind game i play with myself, honestly. that 'table' is not meaningfully different in size from the triple bar, and in fact horses better understand a solid table vs that airy stadium style jump. or at least, that's what i tell myself!

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  6. She's such a cool horse.
    I think it's a good decision that you opted out of the bigger heights - when I was riding English primarily I tried to not over-jump the horses I rode either.
    As a sidenote, I love her "change" hehehe

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    1. well, quite frankly - it's not that i opted out of the bigger heights, it's that i opted out of doing another 11 jumps. i only wanted to do the full course once, and would have preferred to do it at N instead of BN, but didn't think about it until after we'd already gone through once. next time i will be more prepared!!

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  7. She is a really cute jumper. I like that you're making choices with her in mind instead of just blindly pushing to taller jumps because you can. That said, if you're going novice soon (and your brain is anything like mine), you probably need a couple courses at that height before then.

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    1. yea i couldn't agree more - and was a bit frustrated with myself that i didn't think of it sooner considering the same exact thing happened last week. but the way i see it, if all goes according to play i will have three more jump lessons between now and our next outing at novice. and the stadium round at this venue was VERY straight forward (not that i didn't manage to botch it up bc i did lol) so i think Izzy will tune in easily enough. (famous last words, right? lol)

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  8. I love SO MUCH about that video. SO MUCH

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  9. You guys look awesome!! The whole course looked just so easy for you guys.

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    1. thanks! it *felt* easy too... which is nice bc then i had a lesson with my other coach over smaller fences (but with a more complicated focus) last night that felt..... decidedly.... not easy haha. but riding the struggle bus over the technical difficulties is what makes simple coursework a breeze in the long term, right?

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  10. You guys are looking so great! Also, I'm stealing the table idea.

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    1. ooooh yes please do!!! it seems like such a clever way to introduce solid obstacles. and really - every horse in the lesson jumped it beautifully - much better than the similarly sized triple bar

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  11. Wait. Pumping your body doesn't make your horse more forward? ;)
    Glad to hear other people struggle with the same things I do...

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    1. Haha it's like I get so excited to see a forward distance that I just gotta DANCE in the saddle. #noteffective

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  12. I rarely jump at competition height with Bobby anymore. I either school him much lower or much higher. I think once you (the proverbial "you", not you specifically) have the basics super solid, it makes jumping around at any height pretty easy.

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    1. That makes a lot of sense. I would say that most of my jumping is below competition height - esp the really technical stuff... And I am pretty cool w that. But as events get closer I just want to make sure both of our eyes are adjusted to something a little bigger! And the last time we jumped big, we jumped REALLY big and it wasn't the greatest so... Just wanna check in on that lol

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  13. My mare isn't a fan of when I float the reins out so I have gotten into this habit of a stiff, very much lacking release. *sigh*.

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    1. yea i think that's where i am. esp seeing as the lesson from later this week found isabel taking off at a gallop towards the fence when i let go of the reins... i think we've trained each other to rely on that overly heavy connection. *more sighing*

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  14. Your pictures are awesome, and yay novice that is super exciting!

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    1. thanks! we are just having so much fun together lol

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  15. That table in the arena IS very clever. Sweet!

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    1. i may or may not be weighing my options for building one for our home arena haha

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