Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Jumping Lesson on a Wednesday

Last night was my last lesson on Ruby and my last lesson with Alison for a couple of months. Happily, it was a jumping lesson! After warming up, Alison put together a few different jump courses for us to do – I don’t know why, but I felt myself getting a little bit nervous for them. You would think that I would get used to all of this at some point. Anyway, I think our jump courses generally went pretty well, however, I also think that I overcompensated with what I had taken away from my last jump lesson. During that ride I learned (or was reminded) that I needed to not be afraid of “forward” – during that lesson, allowing Ruby to flow forward to each jump improved the quality of the jump and allowed for a more consistent distance each time.

I had this in mind last night when I rode our jump courses, and Ruby was very eager to move quite forward. In fact, I think she was quite speedy and pleased with herself in general. So, with the lessons about moving forward in mind we jumped, but some parts tended to be a little strung out and not as balanced as they should have been. It seems that I remembered one part of the equation: forward, but threw out the other part: balance & rhythm. I managed to get it together though towards the end of the lesson and I feel that our last course was much improved. I seem to have all the basics down, I just have to figure out how to pull them all together all at once! And also to recognize when an adjustment needs to be made, whether that be more forward momentum, a check to balance, where the horse needs to be packaged up some (as Alison would say), whatever.

While I was riding last night, I remember yet another takeaway from the lesson with Pat Spettel. My two hands should normally be mirror images of each other. This is another thing that I already knew (of course), but she had a way of emphasizing it that has stuck in my head and caused me last night to constantly check on myself and make adjustments accordingly.

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