Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Solidly Ridden, Poorly Jumped

For starters, I had another lovely ride on Moon. W caught the end where she exclaimed "He's in a frame!" followed by "Don't stop! Keep riding!" I smile every time I get on him lately, flabbergasted by how much he changed in a year. He's just a great pony to ride!

So after he went fabulous for 45 minutes, I noticed he had plenty of spunk. So I started asking for his canter. Let me say, I found it. But it needs repair. He LITERALLY throws himself into the canter with this HUGE transition that caused me lower back pain every time. And I'm not prone to lower back pain. It was just impossible to sit that transition, as his whole body threw me from my saddle every time. Oye. Tomorrow in our lesson, we'll be working on that canter.
I admit, after the transition, he was easy to sit, though the movement was huge. A part of me at times felt he was actually slowly galloping instead of cantering...hmmmm...

He did however, manage to hold ONE right hand corner. He lost it after coming through the corner, but that's a big improvement! He also was almost 'snorting' with each stride, something you often hear those big warmbloods doing when they go around Spruce Meadows (fancy show jumping facility) at that pretty hand gallop. I'm not sure it's good or bad in Moon, but I finally felt like he was working. And felt like I was riding a lot more horse then I was (when 14.3 hh feels like 17...).

After a couple of energetic canters (no collection there!), I decided to set up some jumps. Two! A little cross rail and a 1.5' vertical.
He was NOT in a jumping mood. He refused the cross rail three times and then finally stepped INTO it, knocking the whole thing over, poles everywhere...oye. The vertical? Kicked the plastic pole riser.

I hopped off, re-set everything up and reminded myself that most of the time, I'm part of the problem. So what was I doing wrong?

For one, I was rushing him towards the jump. Confusing speed with impulsion. Second, I was staring at the jump. Okay, let's try this again...

Beautiful rythym coming through the corner, maintained as we headed to the jump. Instead of staring down at it, I looked at the door ahead, released and went with it. Right over, no knocks. Ahhah.

We did it three more times successfully, and then threw in that vertical again. Nope, he wasn't thinking it was a good idea. Breathe. Rythym. Stop staring at it thinking that I didn't even put the risers straight...

We did the cross-rail again, rounded the corner and I felt him stall out..."Come on buddy!" and he regained his momentum and carried himself over the jump. Woohoo! Look back and realize our loss of momentum? Yeah, that was him pooping midstride...whoops. Didn't even slow to a walk ; )

I called it a day at that. He made it over and he did as I asked. Good pony.
Treats, carrots, Christmas presents. Back out to his paddock. Unfortunately, I learned that his girlfriend is leaving in March, headed to a jumper barn in Ontario. Boourns. Poor Moon-pie.

Lastly, the new stall plaque design...will be unveiled tomorrow night! I decided to give it a second coat of lacquer and because of that, didn't drop it off tonight. And since I want to surprise the individual who commissioned it first, you'll have to wait one more day. I sure hope it's worth it...


  1. It must be canter week for some of us! Congrats on getting Moon going! My trainer told me that for right now I should only work on one part of the canter, either getting her into it (she also kind of falls apart and scrambles into it still) or keeping her going in it. She said for right now, to focus on keeping her canter going and pushing her forward in it. So our transitions are still pretty awful. I'm sure I don't help, as any good equitation skills I have disappear when I ask for canter. Somehow sliding my outside leg back causes my arms to flap like chicken wings and my whole body to tilt forward. Like a cowboy on a bad western! Yeeehawwww!

  2. I LOVE your Christmas Stocking :)!
    Ritchie used to have huge canter like that when I first started training him. Perhaps you could ride it in a half seat position until he gets better to save your back from being hurt.
    Congrats with the jumping.