Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I'm Not Proud Of My Jumping Technique

In the past few years since I started riding again, I have gained lots of horsey abilities I am pretty proud of.  Handling an unruly horse from the ground, roundpenning, stickability in the saddle, ... these are things I do fairly well.  But man do I stink at jumping.  I mean, that's not to say that my overall riding technique doesn't leave a LOT to be desired, but it's in jumping that I really notice it.  And yes, I've taken a lot of lessons, but I guess it's an example of the importance of practice and muscle memory, because I STILL bring my heels up and am unable to be effective with my leg aids going into a jump, and I STILL forget to give enough with my hands for the horse to use its head / neck freely as we go over the jump.

So that's my pre-apology for these fairly terrible videos you'll see in a minute - I am off balance, not driving her effectively toward the jump and catching her in the mouth on the way over.  Of course, the fact that she was not happy about having to work on the scary side and I had to hold her in with the reins and use way more contact than I normally do didn't help things, nor did her frequent spins and bucks which were NOT caught on tape (this is why I do one at a trot).  At any rate it was interesting to see and a good reminder to keep taking lessons on a "normal" horse from time to time to practice improving these things without the additional stress of simply trying to stay on.

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In other news, we're doing much better on the unevenness front - last week it was kind of rainy so on Tuesday instead of riding I just longed her and she was completely nutso, piaffeing and prancing bucking and doing her crazy gallop which makes her look more like a huge, clumsy jackrabbit than a horse - she would snort and then spook at the echo of her snort... in the end it was a fun show but I was thinking "great, tomorrow she'll be even lamer".  Well I was wrong - it seems almost like she needed to really reach her full range of movement to get better because the very next day she was already moving much better.

And finally, what blog post would be complete without a new health issue?  On Saturday a friend of mine was leading her filly around the stableyard and stopped at my paddock, then while we were chatting the two fillies put their noses together to say "hi, who's the boss here?" as mares do, her filly won and Starbuck reared up, hitting her head on the stall ceiling.  Note to self - only allow socialization outside stall.  Anyhow she scraped her head up pretty well - as if she didn't already have enough bald spots from scratching herself - and developed a pretty nice goose egg on her nose, but the vet just told me to clean it and treat it with Furacin and give her a couple of antiinflamatory packets and in the end she was fine.  If we end up going to the show this weekend (which in light of the videos I'm reconsidering) I'm thinking of painting the bald spot white so it'll look like a blaze instead of a wound.
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