Friday 29 May 2020

Tiny Sticks

A couple of weeks ago a friend and I set up a small crosspole out in the field and popped over it. Well, she popped over it a few times, then hopped off to make it smaller so that I could actually get Cisco over it since the first two tries ended in walking over it after he stopped. 

I think we popped over a crosspole once this year, but it could have been last October. When choosing how to jump it I had the option of jumping away from the barn and towards the murder box (horse trailer) that was parked on the edge of the riding area (trailer-in lesson people) - I knew he would suck back a bit, but he'd be rideable on the landing side. If I jumped towards the barn I knew that he'd be stronger and less steerable on the landing side, and there were many gopher holes that I had to steer clear of. Thus I chose to go away from the barn.

Crappy quality video sent to me via text

My friend dropped one side down, we got over it a few times, then she made it really small, and we continued to go across it. Cisco wasn't sure so I rode very defensively and managed to only have one completely crap jump when he Superman'd it heading towards the barn. But overall, not too bad for my wussy horse.

On Tuesday this week, I was riding during a novice jump lesson. There were a couple of single small crosspoles, so I snuck in where I could and popped him over them. 

And he was really good!

Just a very slight hesitation on the first jump, but otherwise was pretty sure of himself. He landed really nicely and we cantered either around the turn without falling in or halting at the end on a very light rein.

He even got bored and started just trotting over them. Perfect!

So maybe he didn't add the stride so much as just didn't jump.

We tried one attempt to canter in, which is totally a me issue. I picked the right lead and a shorter diagonal approach, which is usually my best approach. I realized about 3 strides out that it was going to be really long and kind of froze up (but grabbed mane) and prepared for the worst but Cisco just added and loped over. 

I left it there before I really messed things up.

And then we went for a trot with Blue and his 5 year old rider. 

I want to start working on some simple lines, trot in and canter out, to get me more comfortable with cantering jumps again. My eye isn't very good at the moment, nor is my two point, and Cisco's canter isn't very adjustable yet. I need to keep things super simple for a bit until both of us have a bit of confidence in ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. oooh yay tiny sticks!! he looks game but thoughtful -- a nice combination. also your idea for "trotting in / cantering out" of simple lines is the exact same approach we took with getting charlie started. i think we did a lot of 60' distances that make for a fairly comfortable 5, but can also be 4 or 6. it was useful bc charlie would kinda just... do whatever he was gonna do for the first fence, but then could pull himself together for the second.