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alegnia

Lesson, Rather Horrid, With Video Proof

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First the lesson:

It has decided to monsoon here so instead of riding at trainers nice big outdoor arena we were stuck inside the little indoor where the rain on the metal roof was so loud you could not hear yourself think. I am working the night time emergency shift so was tired, grumpy, and it showed big time in my performance. Eurus was a star as usual. Today was about "scary" jumps and involved cones, brush, and the water barrel, first time over all of it for Eurus. Only 1 refusal at the water barrel but he then proceeded to jump it rather extravagantly for the rest of the lesson.

What I see myself doing wrong and what trainer is working on with me is maintaining a tighter two point and not sitting back so early over the fence. "CLOSE THE HIP ANGLE" has been the biggest comment. My dressage legs also appear to not want to grip tight enough resulting a horrid lower leg swing today. Everyday a new battle. Any constructive tips or ideas on how to improve these areas would be greatly appreciated. Remeber this is my 6th time jumping in the last few years and it has been like jumping boot camp. Next lesson is bounce fences and lets hope it goes better.

Next weekend I will be ridng a different horse in a 3 day jumping clinic. She is a 5 year old imported warmblood mare whose owner is terrified of her so she lets me ride her. To point we have just been doing dressage but I have a couple lessons on her coming up before the clinic so YAY for having a more confident trained mount to learn on for a bit. I would have taken Eurus but this way I don't have to pay for the clinic :)

Eurus also has a show in a few weeks! Its just a local hunter jumper show. Trainer has us in 3 flat classes 2 x 2' hunter classes (for my confidence) and then 3 x 2'6 huunter and 1 jumper class. She wants Eurus in those as she feels he will perform better and enjoy himself more in those and the whole point of this show is get him some exposure to other obstacles.

I was a bit worried about the height for a 4 year old but trainer spends half her year training in holland and jumps the 3 year olds in 3'-3'3. I know eurus has no OCD lesions and his growth plates are closed (he was a test candidate for the nuclear scintigraphy bone scanner at school) but he is my baby. I can always knock down to 2'3 and pull out of the jumper day of.

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Your stirrups look very long. I'm sure given your dressage background they may feel short, but go up 1-2 holes. It's essential to have the right amount of knee angle so a rider has the ability sink down into the heel and keep the lower leg still. I believe the rule is you want no more than a 130 degree angle in the knee. Someone could correct me here.

Also, if you are wobbly in the saddle and know you are not balanced, GRAB MANE - that's what it's there for. Or, take a stirrup leather and use it as a neck strap to give you balance.

Additionally, I'd take away your stirrups and start you with trot poles, then cavaletti, and then low gymnastics. Survival instincts will kick in and your leg will tighten up ;)

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Rode trainers mare tonight with shorter stirrups and low and behold it went AWESOME!!! When she told me to put them up I'm pretty sureI gave her a "are you on crack look" but it did work. I think my knees hate me now. Did bounce fences (without stirrups) too and felt an improvement. Sorry no more photos but seeing as shes not my horse Id need to get permission anyway.

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