Friday, February 17, 2012

Put your hands together for... jumping!

In my jump lesson this week, I worked on keeping my hands together and my heels down. I started with ground poles and worked my way up to the brown, log and baby brick jumps. I should go measure them, but they are all solid and probably around 18". It was also my first time jumping the log so there was a bit of mental anxiety I had to get over. I know my horse has longed over it with my trainer but it seemed scarier then the other solid jumps.

But Sam was moving nicely, no rushing on the smaller jumps so my confidence was increasing. I decided to just let him jump and I'll just be a passenger today. Ok, that's most of the time. We trot the brown, figure 8 back around to the baby brick, trot again and he chips and tags his back hooves on the top. His neck was immediately in my face, but low and behold, my HANDS were also in my face and pressed right off neck, sitting me immediately up. YAY! I circle around the log, and quickly regain composure as Sam was being good and quiet. Then we trot the log (scary!) and all is well there too. We canter down the long side of the arena and he is listening very well and easily comes back down to trot. More yay!
Jumped the green log jump, brown jump less green rail & baby red brick less red rail.
We do the same sequence in the opposite direction and over one of the jumps, I can't even remember which one now, my HANDS save me again! Again they appear at eye level and I pushed off Sam's neck. And because I was also thinking about my heels down OVER the jump, my legs were already in good position so my recovery was immediate. WOOT! I get kudos from my trainer. If I had ever questioned riding with my hands together (I didn't) then this day was a lesson learned.

Bonus that is was on and off drizzling on us. AND I rode in my regular hunter schooling bridle. No flash, no new bit. :D

For rain riding (living in the PNW), I picked up this saddle cover online and have been very pleased with it on both occasions I have used it. The seat has a good grip and doesn't seem to move around. There's velcro where the stirrups poke through so you can run them up and down and then velcro a smaller hole while riding. The only thing it doesn't cover is the front of the sweat flap/blocks as it likes to wrap only around the outer flap. That works fine as I can still adjust my girth from the saddle and at least most of saddle is protected.

Ride On Saddle Cover - For Riding in the Rain

Ride On Saddle Cover Ride on Saddle Cover Waterproof, grippy PVC material with elastizied edges fits neatly over the seat and flaps of most English saddles. Ride even in foul weather without having to worry about damage to your saddle.

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