I want to start by saying that I’m a rider who likes to ride. I don’t have my trainer ride my horse for me often, and while Sarah sometimes rides Georgie in our lessons, there is usually a schooling reason for it.
In yesterday’s lesson I thought we could maybe have some fun with Sarah riding Georgie. I asked her to hop on her so I could video her jumping a single fence. We’d then video me doing the same fence, and hopefully with a little compare and contrast I could see what she was doing well and what I wasn’t doing. I’m a visual learner so I hoped this could be really helpful. And it was.
Sarah had a quick warm up on Georgie and towards the end of it I saw her ask Georgie for a bigger step while still remaining balanced and uphill. When Sarah asked, Georgie easily moved into the bigger step and nothing else changed. Sarah was elated, I was over the moon and Sarah commented that Georgie had never done that so easily before. Progress!
Sarah did some collected canter work and Georgie looked great. Strong and just really easily getting around on a short, collected step. She then approached the jump on a “moderate” step, which is the pace I like, and then a bigger step. It’s a bit out of my comfort zone, this big, forward step, but Sarah kept Georgie balanced and uphill and it looked beautiful.
Georgie was also incredibly adjustable. When Sarah saw her distance was off (and I saw it too, yay!) she changed the step and Georgie was able to change immediately and make it work.
It was so fun to watch.
But then I had to hop on. And I wasn’t sure I could replicate what I just saw.
We started with canter work on the flat. Getting those three different steps. Collected canter work was fun. But then I had to get up into jump position and not let Georgie fall on the forehand and get strung out.
At one point I was getting it, but my quads were burning and my hands didn’t want to behave. I worked harder and it actually went pretty well. Sarah gave me a short break and now we had to do that over a 3′ jump.
Here’s the recap. I rode Georgie in that uphill frame. I wasn’t on as big a step as Sarah wanted BUT I knew it, and changed it the second time around AND I never lost contact with Georgie the entire time. No loop in my rein, no jumping ahead.
When I asked for the bigger step the second time, it was great! We quickly realized that I forget everything on the backside though and Georgie immediately falls on the forehand, so if we were in a combination it would have not been great. So, I learned I need to ride the backside as well as I am riding to the jump. Because that isn’t obvious and hasn’t been told to someone who has been doing this as long as I have. Grr.
The ride was a huge aha moment for me and what Georgie and I are capable of. We have lots of homework. And don’t think I am fooling myself. I can ride this well over one jump. I have no grand ideas that I can ride this well in a stadium course. Yet. Will it be magical for our event in three weeks? Probably not. But at least now I’ve got some tools to play with. And, hopefully, by the time we get to Rebecca Farm for the 3day in July, we will look like a competent show jumping pair for the entire course.
Oh, and Sarah obviously rode the jump much better, but I’ve posted the videos for a little compare and contrast. My jump video is a bit longer as we do some flat work first, but I think it is fun to watch. And I left the audio because I think what Sarah says is important and good to hear. 🙂