Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Unexpected!

I schooled today and were practising transitions and continuing our work with nice active trots and canters. Although I love practising dressage, Hattie doesn't and I could tell she was bored today as she was a lot of work to get going forward and was heavy on the forehand. Not like the nice trots and canters with her using her back like we've been getting. I kept remembering to soften the inside rein and this did help but Hattie just did not want to work today.

We did some parts of the Prelim 4 test where you do a..
-20 metre circle in a working trot on the left rein at E,
-at K, you ask for working canter,
-at B a 20 metre circle in working canter before returning to a working trot at C,
-changing rein at HXF
-ask for working canter at F,
-at E 20 metre circle in working canter,
-then return to working trot at C.

I often use this sequence as a schooling exercise as it peps Hattie up a bit, it's good for practising transitions and makes me practise riding with inside leg to outside hand and forces me to soften the inside rein.

After I managed to get some ok work out of her with that sequence, I decided to whack up a jump just to keep her happy as she enjoys jumping.

I couldn't be bothered messing around with the jump cups and was fed up with doing cross rails as Hattie gets lazy with them so out the pole across at the height I figured about about 1'3"- 1'6".

We did it first on the left rein which is her good rein, and Hattie was nice and balanced with a nice rolling canter. I remembered to sit back, keep my right shoulder back, point that right toe down, hold her with my outside rein and soften the inside. It was fun and Hattie really basculed over it. It's HARD to get forward over a bigger jump in a side saddle!!

The right rein was iffy and I kept having to go back and balance her with transitions and really forcing myself to sit back and soften the inside rein. I'm finding it really hard to do that on the right rein.

After a refusal, a couple of last minute pop ins and knock downs on the right rein, we managed to sort it out. Did some more balancing in the transitions and found that I had to ride her REALLY forward on the right rein yet at the same time, hold her with the outside, REALLY put my right shoulder back to act as my "inside leg to outside hand" and concentrate on keeping that inside rein elastic and soft. We got two good jumps to finish off in the end and we were both knackered and sweaty after our 40 minute session of schooling.

Afterwards when I went to put the jump away, I measured it as it looked massive and I'll be darned if it didn't measure 1'9"! Flippin' heck , no wonder it felt like Hattie was jumping over a mountain!

Photographic proof that we did that height...

I was happy that I finally jumped that high in a side saddle and we did alright but I don't know if I getting too wimpy as I don't know if I like jumping that high. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it but don't know if I would like doing whole courses that high. The odd jump that they have at that height in the Riding Club Horse classes at shows is one thing but I don't know if I would ever feel happy jumping a course at that height. I'm just going to take it slow and work on our flat work with the odd jump added in for fun. I'll be jumping at the next clear round show but I don't want to do 1'9", I'll stick to doing it a bit lower for the time being as you always school higher at home than what you show at.

The saddle felt ok flatting and jumping today though so that is good. It's not gone right forward on her shoulders, just stayed put where it normally wants to settle on her conformation.

Hattie looking in good weight and muscle with all the work we've been doing for the summer shows and saddle sitting pretty level.

I must say though, that a Whippy is truly a good saddle for sitting on, while sailing through the air on a horse!


  1. I feel the same way Lei. I want to jump more and bigger but I'm really not comfortable with it yet. I did the 2'0" division and 2'3" division and I was ok with that but when we tried a little bit higher at 2'6" it was pretty disasterous and had it's scary moments.

  2. I'm bored with 1' as we can do it easily and consistently. Maybe I should just put the jumps to 1'3" or 1'6" for the time being and do those till we are bored stiff and doing them consistently. Jumping 1' used to feel the same way jumping 1'9" yesterday so I think I'm going to go up in increments.

    You guys looked good in your 2'3" division though, maybe do the same plan as me and do them till you are bored and can do them with your eyes shut then move up.