Jumping Lesson

Yay for jumping lessons!

I got back from being out of town for work training Friday evening and immediately had a lesson on Saturday morning. I’m really glad I insisted on it being earlier. If I wasn’t tired from driving for 7 or so hours on Friday, I would have wanted it to start at 8. It was hot already when I got out there. I started sweating even before I got on Scarlet.

I kept my stirrups long for the warm up. The warmup wasn’t as good as I normally do since I was trying to talk to Trainer J at the same time as warming up. Since it was the first lesson, she doesn’t know much about me or Scarlet. So I was answering a bunch of questions and riding at the same time. I’m not in good enough shape to do that. I was heaving for breath when we stopped talking. lol.

Scarlet definitely wasn’t as in front of my leg as I wanted but he was bending and stretching quite nicely so it wasn’t a total bust of a warm up.

Trainer J set up a small cross rail to see how we do while I shortened my stirrups. We hopped over it at a trot. Scarlet barely gave it any respect. So she raised it and added a bounce ground line for us. And then had to raise it again to actually get him to use himself and jump rather than just flounce over it.

We did the bounce at a trot and canter (obviously adjusted the striding when we started cantering). Trainer J wanted us to work on Scarlet keeping his neck low and rocking back onto his butt to jump over. Getting his neck low is okay when just doing flat work but he immediately reverts to saddlebred neck when a jump is put in front of him. He gets excited and tries to rush. I was riding on a really loose rein as I didn’t want to have our first jumping lesson have me banging against his mouth. So I wasn’t doing much more than steering. I’ll have to work on that now that I know what we can do and what we need to practice on.

We finished up on a two pole lead up to the crossrail at the canter. Trainer J set it up and it ended up being a little long for Scarlet. We cantered in and he made the striding but it was a bit rushed when he realized that he needed to stretch to make it happen. She adjusted it to be a bit smaller and we went through with a fairly slow canter and he jumped it quite nicely.

My homework is to get him to go over trot poles and low crossrails without popping his head up and practice my two point. The last one is more me assigning myself that rather than Trainer J saying I needed to do it. I know I need to. I have no muscles for the two point anymore.

Thinking about the insistence to have his head low… I’m conflicted. On one hand, Scarlet immediately throws his head straight up when faced with jumps. I know that allows him to hollow his back rather than use it. However, I don’t like how low she wanted us to get before going over. The speed of the trot and canter she wanted also bothered me. I didn’t feel like it was a very free moving and forward speed. Scarlet isn’t strong enough to do a collected canter or even a slower canter still using his back. So I didn’t feel like I actually had the correct use of his back and hind at that speed.

I’m still going to do another lesson, but I’m not 100% on board with how she would like us to get over the jumps. I will definitely be working on getting him to stop hollowing over the jumps but I don’t think I’m going to get it by insisting he bring his head down. We will have to see what exercises work best for Scarlet in order to get the correct form that we need.

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Wet pony got a bath after the ride. No face though. Water is way to scary for the face.
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13 thoughts on “Jumping Lesson

  1. I’m always leery of anyone who focuses on head carriage instead of proper use of the hind. I flirted with a trainer in WI who kept yelling at me to yank Gemmie’s head down to get her in a frame and I quickly fired her. Even back then I knew that felt all sorts of wrong.

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    • I feel the same way. But, to give the trainer credit, she explained that his head being up allowed him to hollow his back over the jump. Encouraging him to lower his head was supposed to help him use his back. I agree with the basic principle but didn’t like the delivery.

      I’m going to keep it up for a few lessons and see if we agree on the same concepts, but just deliver them differently. I’m kinda limited in my lesson options as well because I can’t haul to another barn.

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  2. Yay for lessons! I’m looking forward to future lesson write ups and see how this trainer interacts with you and helps you guys out. I didn’t look that far east when I was trying trainer’s so I know nothing about them.

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    • I am looking forward to how we progress now that she knows a bit about us. She also was interested in doing a local show circuit. So that may be a possibility.

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  3. Scarlet is fancy so he flounces.

    Really looking forward to more lesson write ups. Head set is a tricky subject. Sometimes when a trainer says something I think they forget that we don’t always have the tools to get the result intended (just like some engineers we might know lol).

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  4. The first lesson is like a first date. Sometimes it take 1 or 2 more until you know if it’s a good match. But trust me… there are definitely instances where I have walked out of a lesson or a clinic haha. Dates too 😉

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    • Right? It wasn’t bad enough that I’m not willing to give it a few more shots but it wasn’t one of those lessons where I went “omg this trainer gets us!”. My last trainer was that for me. I miss her the most about my old location.

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      • That’s tough for sure. But you will always learn something from someone whether it’s a good or bad situation. I attended a clinic a week before my first event that completely knocked my BO’s confidence out of the park while it made me realize the trainer was an idiot and B and I were much more capable of learning… without her help. I walked out, but I still learned something 😁

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