Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jumping lesson!

Today Panama and I had a really awesome jumping lesson.  My trainer was all business today, and we got lots done — and achieved a lot, too, I think.

We started out with just poles, spaced so that we could get two trot steps between or one canter stride.  Panama got very excited when he saw the poles come out, though, so at first my trainer had to talk me through getting both me and him straightened out — mainly helping me to control his pace more with my seat and making sure I wasn't inadvertently making him go faster with the way I was riding (no leaning forward, no pinching with my knees, etc.).  Then we both trotted and cantered over the poles in each direction.

Then my trainer put up cross rails, and we worked on jumping.  I've been working on staying tall, giving him enough leg to keep him going over the jump, and holding on with the back of my calves instead of my knees.  He wasn't jumping much over the lowest setting, though, just kind of hopping over it,so my trainer moved the end of each rail up a notch.

The first time we jumped the higher jump, Panama got a little mad at me for letting my butt slam down on the saddle, but after the first attempt we both figured things out and started doing a little better.  Up until now we've been trotting up to a jump, rather than cantering, but toward the end of the lesson Panama started wanting to canter up to the jump.

The first time he started to canter, I kind of freaked out and slowed him, for which my trainer gave me a little grief — "He totally would have done it!"  (It wasn't him doing it I was worried about, actually.)  The second time, though, I managed to stay tall and stay with him... and it was so much easier than I thought it would be.  Wow!  Not that I think I'm ready to canter up to a jump every time, and not that I want him ignoring what speed I am asking him for, but I was pretty pleased that I rode it well and didn't fall off.

I always knew somehow that Panama would enjoy jumping, but I wasn't expecting that I would like it, too!



At March 17, 2011 at 8:46 PM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The first time I jumped, it was unexpected. I was like, "Hey! That was really fun!" and I took Lostine back around to do it again. It's exhilarating.

At March 17, 2011 at 9:05 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

I had one of those unexpected jumps once too, when I was about 13 and on a trail ride, but I never actually learned how until my trainer started teaching me this past year. I was really scared at first, but I'm really starting to love it.

I can't imagine jumping Western though. Don't you ride Western, NM? Do you get socked in the gut with the horn when you jump?


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