Monday, November 17, 2014

lessoning at new heights

Our lesson this week went pretty well. Isabel's been doing great under saddle, despite our concerns about her current physical state. We obviously want to keep it that way - and help make sure she's feeling 100% well so we don't start seeing any new issues. 

jump 3, one stride to jump 4, five strides to jump 5

But as it is, Isabel is at a place right now in her riding where any mistakes made are mostly my own. If I stay out of her way, she's more than likely gonna get the job done correctly. This makes me just so so so happy!



jump 4

Isabel flatted really really well. I focused almost exclusively on my upper body position - meaning 'LOOK UP, Emma.' Geez. This helped get my shoulders over my seat, and my arms hanging in the right spot. It also helped my core/seat be more effective in regulating pace, rather than using so much rein. P wanted my pace slow enough that I could feel Izzy's hind end coming up underneath, but not so slow that she's sleeping on the job. So we needed *energy* - while not just bombing around. 



jump 5 - monsters inc

P had a pretty neat course set up using essentially everything in the ring. We went through all the lines individually at 2' - 2'3" first. We did ok, tho I was maybe a bit conservative. Isabel had to remind me over and over again that *she* knows how to count perfectly fine, thankyouverymuch, even if I apparently don't... 


jump 6 on the rail, three strides to the uber colorful jump 7

The 6-7 outside line on the rail was three strides, but I kept getting a questionable in jump that made me expect to add a stride... Same goes for the two stride line on the other outside rail. Isabel was wise enough to ignore me and get the correct striding all on her own. Good mare!



jump 7 - the rainbow brite or 'easter' jump

Once we'd been through everything individually, the jumps went up - all the way up to 2'6"!! I've jumped Isabel at that height once or twice, but it's generally a bit beyond my comfort zone. The highest I've ever really jumped was 2'9", and that was eight years ago on Lad, who I still feel comfortable enough with to hop around 2'6"... But Isabel is just different. Maybe it's her size? Her way of going? Idk, for whatever reason bigger fences just make me nervous with her. 


yes, i think we made it to the base lol

But she's been making it perfectly clear that she can handle - and maybe even *wants* - the bigger stuff. So I put on my game face and went for it: nine big fences, with optional bending line from coop to roll top at the end. (The roll top was actually backwards, disguised as a white gate - and therefore *much* less scary for me lol)



disguised roll top is disguised. haha brain, tricked you!

Our course wasn't perfect: some questionable distances, per usual, and some inconsistent rhythm. But it was really fine. Isabel took the initiative in a few places when I kinda just froze up. And after it was all said and done, all the rails were still up and we had made it over everything. And I felt GOOD about it. 


Like, ok yes, I have work to do. Lots. My lower leg was swinging around all over the place, my eq is ick, and I still have no real release (at least I hold the mane like it's my job...). Plus, I really need to understand that Isabel can do the strides even if we get a questionable in jump - I just need to help her move up (rather than trying to hold for an add... it just doesn't work). 



video of our first ever 2'6" course for your viewing pleasure 

And P wants me to think about 'exhaling' in the last stride or two before the fence - to help me loosen up a bit and relax, rather than grab grab grab. 


But over all, I felt safe and not over-faced. And Isabel clearly enjoyed herself - so I can really focus on improving my own self without needing to worry about her. She's got it covered! So. 2'6" - we did it! :)


37 comments:

  1. Isabel looks like she is having fun in the video! :-)

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    1. i agree - i think she likes this job :)

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  2. Yay for feeling safe! Exhaling before the fence is a great tip! Plus, it'll get you focused on something other than holding for an extra stride. ;)

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    1. right - and that's exactly what isabel needs from me... it's funny, tho - every time my trainer told me to exhale i'd realize that i was holding my breath lol

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  3. Sounds like such a great lesson! I hope Izzy feels better soon too!

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  4. Congratulations!!! That's so exciting - look at you guys go! Brave horse and rider!

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    1. lol thanks! i don't get called 'brave' very often (see blog title lol) but it helps that isabel is so very very game :)

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    2. maybe time to rethink that title ;) ;)

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  5. Love the brightly colored jumps!

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    1. me too! the 'rainbow brite' poles are actually new too - plain old pvc (which i usually dont like bc they fall too easily and the horses don't always respect them), and it's kinda funny bc NONE of them match lol

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  6. woohoo! looks like so much fun.

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  7. Yay for 2'6". And a bad ass award for doing it even though it made you nervous :)

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    1. thanks! i can get myself so worked up sometimes, and am very quick to say 'no thanks' to new challenges... but then i always regret it lol

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  8. That is so awesome!! You two look great! I loved the video. When she has her tail up it almost hits you in the back of the head over the fence hehehehehe! So cute!

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    1. lol thanks - she is definitely pretty exuberant with that tail of hers haha

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  9. Love her tail! :-D Also, I know I ride a slow-poke, but man - she looks like she flying! Way to go on the extra height!!

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    1. thanks! she feels like she's flying too - and it took me a *long* time to allow her into that rhythm rather than try and slow her down.. but it's funny - she's actually not that fast compared to the bigger guys

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  10. I'm not going to lie--I'm not much of an Arabian fan. But I seriously love Isabel. Her jump looks so great.

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    1. yea - i actually knew zip zero about arabians, and wasn't particularly interested either, before i met her. but the situation with her was so serendipitous that i had to take advantage of it. and it turns out she's pretty neat! that said tho, i still much prefer TBs in general

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  11. She looks like she's having a ball out there! :) You two look great.

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    1. thanks! i get so nervous.... but am grateful she can take care of me :)

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  12. Exhaling before a fence sounds like something that I need to do over fences too! I think one of the hardest things about riding is learning to sit still and relax when necessary. You guys look great!

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    1. thanks! yea the 'sitting still and relaxing' bit is SO HARD for me. just so so hard lol. it's a constant work in progress tho...

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  13. Looking great!!! She is such a cute jumper, and you look confident at this height (not fraidy at all :) )

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    1. lol thanks! i felt 'fraidy tho - it's in there for sure! (for instance, i told my trainer that the only reason i jumped the roll top was bc it was backwards - not sure i would have the other way!) but each good lesson makes it a little easier...

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  14. Go you!! Izzy really cracks her back over those bigger fences -- she looks great!

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    1. yea - she jumps me out of the tack pretty much all the time lol. you'd think we were jumping the big big stuff, but nope, she just goes all out all the time...

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  15. Congratulations! Doesn't it feel so good to have your eye adjust upward like that? Hooray for safe ponies.

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    1. thanks! methinks it had more to do with *Izzy's* eye adjusting and me just hangin on for the ride lol, but i'm getting there slowly but surely :)

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