Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Jumping for the First Time!

 I had a great, successful lesson Monday. It started with me practicing my two point at the walk on a circle. At first it was hard to find my balance, but I got a little bit better as I went on.  After doing it at the walk, I rode two point at the trot and leaned over like I am going over a jump. Then, I rode through three sets of jump standards with ground poles in between each. I held my two point and leaned forward as I went through the jump standards. I had to go through the sequence quite a few times before I was balanced and relaxed.

 After trying it both directions, Meghan raised the last pole in the sequence just a bit. Chester wasn't very impressed and merely trotted over the pole, so Meghan made a small cross rail instead. The next time I went around, Chester jumped over it. It was fun jumping for the first time! I went over the small jump several times  before Anica joined the lesson. We both trotted and worked on holding the two point all the way around the arena. It's hard to hold it that long! When I was about half way I had to sit for a little bit and try again. I was finally able to hold it for most of the way around the arena.

 Then, I started heading left and began cantering around the entire arena. Chester's canter is fast when not on a circle, probably due to his thoroughbred blood. I'm a lot better at sitting the canter than I was a few weeks ago, but I have to work on controlling his speed more. After going all the way around, Chester slowed to the trot. I began cantering again and worked on my cantering two point, which is easier than trotting. I was bounced around a bit as I two pointed and lost my balance. when I had almost done two laps, Meghan instructed me to shorten my reins, put my hands higher up on Chester's neck, and bend my elbows more, which helped. I cantered around the arena like that for a little more than a lap.

Next, I watched Anica ride the two point. She was putting her hands higher up on her horse's(Roxie) neck and shortening the reins as she did it, which is what Meghan told me to do but it is great to have a visual. I did some more two point, then cantered right several laps in the dressage arena. two pointing for some of it.
I'm jumping a small cross rail!

 Then, Anica and I both worked on jumping. I only trotted over the jumps, though Chester landed cantering a couple times. There were several times when Chester was going a bit fast, so I had to slow him. He knocked down the jump one time because I hadn't slowed him down and hadn't balanced well. I tried to keep him in a slow trot so he would go over the jumps carefully. Once, I even walked through the first two sets of standards, then trotted just before the last one.
Jumping! My position looks better in this picture
 As the lesson progressed, Meghan added a slanting rail to the in the middle and made the last one a bit bigger. Chester would jumped the middle one, take a stride, the jump the next one. I need to work on looking up though, because once I looked down over the first jump and ended up banging Chester's back as I landed. The next time around, I looked up at the mountains ahead, and the jump was much better. It's amazing how much a difference looking up makes.

 Toward the end of the lesson, Meghan made two cross rails, one on the last jump and one of the first, so I would jump, take a few strides, then jump again. The last time through, when I focused on looking up again, was the best. I love jumping and enjoy riding with Anica. Riding with someone more experienced than myself let's me have good visuals. Also, I am pushed more because I do the same things Anica does, except at a little lower level. I had a lot of fun this lesson and have lots of videos to study so I become better.


  1. Yay!!! I'd be sore after that much 2-pointing! Hooray for your jumps!!

  2. hooray!!! you're moving right on up :) one suggestion with slowing chester down is half halts. i've only just started doing low level course work and the horse i ride (ariel) would speed around if i let her so my instructor reminds me to half halt to regain control and remind ariel i'm boss.

    again, congratulations and i wish you success as you continue working with jumping :):)

    1. Thanks! And thanks for the tip too. I'm told to half halt quite a few times as well.

    2. you're welcome :) my instructor also says to test if your mount responds better to a longer stronger half halt, or if it's a short quick pulse. i'm riding a new horse right now and he prefers the longer stronger half halt to get his attention. just depends so see which one chester prefers.

  3. Congrats on making it over your first few jumps!!!


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