Thursday, June 18, 2015

Balance.... because I'm lacking in that dept

The past 2 days I've worked Twister pretty hard. Wednesday my person and I galloped the boys in the rain. I made Twister work. He has to be a little more fit than I think, despite the fat, because after a really hard gallop both directions he caught his breath a lot faster than I thought he would.

Note to self: buy a digital watch so I can monitor how long it takes his beats and breath per minute to go down...... and so I can monitor how long I'm actually working him.

Normally when I gallop I do it like I'm riding track horses. I cross the reins and loop one finger on one hand through the wither strap and balance with my knuckles on the shoulders or withers. But you can't do that and still jump! So in each direction I put my outside arm behind my back like a soldier at ease so that I couldn't brace because you can't when you only have one arm and that needs to be used for steering. I had to use my legs and sore to keep my in my half-seat. I made sure my legs weren't bouncing all over and that I was centered over my saddle. My stirrups were down one hole from where they normally are for jumping which helped.

Today it was about to storm big time. Winds were picking up. So Twister and I had a quick and hard ride. Luckily it's summer so it doesn't take as long to warm up and stretch out.....


We trotted out at a fast stretchy, bounce trot 1 1/2 rounds each way and then galloped 1 1/2 rounds each lead. Then we went into the "arena" and practiced our lead changes. My goal is to get us down to only 1 or 2 trot strides before we do a successful change. If you watched our video from Sunday, we canter around on the wrong lead quite a bit. I need to work on that. My person can get him to do flying changes. But my person is also a much better and more skilled rider than I am.

We also cantered over a couple jumps, especially the 2" block oxer made with my jump blocks. He was super! I hold on way too much over jumps, perhaps you noticed that too. But I'm trying to do less of that, which is another reason for the balance exercises. Next time we jump (when it freaking dried out) I want to canter over some jumps with my arm behind my back. I can't hold on for dear life all the time. And the better he jumps, the less I should have to!

see the hand running up to grab mane/do a release and one on the wither
strap holding on????????


  1. Don't forget to drop those stirrups, too!

    1. You're killin me! It's not even November yet! :P

  2. my trainer is actually a huge proponent of the neck strap - all her students are required to have one while jumping. if it's loose enough there's no reason why you can't keep a finger looped in it (even WFP does it!). seriously tho, i feel ya on the lead change thing... at least it technically doesn't matter in stadium? my mare seems to be very fond of jumping from a cross canter too... ick ick!

    1. one of these days i'll post a picture from my days as a hunter. i had legs of steel and never ever needed to grab mane. but i've gotten old. (hunter days were over 10 yrs ago! and i was a crazy ass teenager that wasn't scared of nuttin!). though i am still more balanced on a horse than i am on my own 2 feet, i need to tap into my inner child and git-r-done.

      it doesn't technically matter but would be nice anyways......