Friday, October 4, 2013

Two great jumping lessons

Yesterday V. and I both had our riding lessons, mine in the morning and hers in the afternoon.  (Look at the difference in the sky in the pictures -- you can see the storm that hit last night moving in between my lesson [bottom] and hers!)

In my lesson 2 weeks ago, my trainer had me work on maintaining a better position, especially at the canter: keeping my shoulders back and my back straight.  I have a bad habit of hunching my shoulders and rounding my back, and this carries over into my jumps when Panama does something to startle or scare me (like giving me a really long, big jump).  As you can see in the picture, the work at the canter paid off, and my jumps yesterday were much better.

They were also much bigger!  It's hard to tell in the picture, but the vertical I'm jumping is about 2'3", the highest I've jumped to date.  I don't even jump as high as 2' (which I also did yesterday) very often.  Panama often jumped this high with V. when she was leasing him, though, so he took good care of me.  My trainer told me I did great yesterday, and I have to say, it felt great too!

And in the afternoon, V. rode Rondo, whom she is leasing now.  (In case you don't remember, V. is the 11-year-old, soon to be 12-year-old, I nanny for -- she switched to leasing Rondo at the end of the summer, and is totally in love with him.)  This is the biggest the two of them have jumped together too.  She was just jumping him over cavaletti, which he jumps all right, but he is a bit of a lazy dude and has long legs, which results in him sometimes just trotting really high over the jumps.  So yesterday afternoon our trainer put up a real jump and raised it high enough that he couldn't do that.

He did pretty well, although he does like to slow down and break to a trot as he is approaching a jump, and V. needs to get better about not letting him do that.  He is also a bit clumsy, and tripped once right in front of the jump.  He still managed to get over it, but he knocked his knees on the pole, and after that he tried harder to pick his feet up!  I think he does look awfully pretty going over the jump in the picture, with his knees tucked nicely and such a lovely curve to his neck, don't you?



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