Wednesday, September 16, 2015

All the Angles

Mo and I had a pretty fun dressage lesson on Tuesday that involved schooling the halt (the horse's butt wants to swing right at all times, and he doesn't really get the whole halt thing yet--even though he'll fall asleep standing around--so it's gonna be the next Big Challenge). It was fun, because some of the things we've been struggling with feel confirmed, like bend changes without inversion.

But another dressage lesson recap with no media isn't fun, so let's talk about today's jump lesson instead.

M set up a really cool school in the ring with lots of exercises in it that I'm trying to show you via Paintbrush, which I don't know how to use at all, so bear with me. If anyone can tell me how to make a proper curvy line with this thing, PLEASE do. All the jumps were 2'6" verticals (M said next week we might try for a little more height, yay).

I put the jump numbers there just for ease of talking about them. Jump 1 was a crossrail that I trotted a few times, and then I cantered 1 and 4 off each lead, heading out of the exercise. That being done, and liking the canter my horse had, she had me jump the 6-stride line from 1 to 2. The first time, he wandered all about and we did it in 8. Second time, he was straighter but taking small strides and we got there in 7. Barf. So third time, I kicked on landing and we had the nice 6. It's not a tricky distance, I just have a lazy horse, ha. We repeated the same exercise on the right lead for jumps 4 and 5. Same "look how many steps I can take in here, mom! Like a Paso!" thing. But a forward ride on landing showed him how to find the appropriate striding and not the long spot.

Lines not drawn as ridden, ha
Next exercise was to turn inside of 4 (or 1, if off the right lead) to jump 3. He needed a little more power off the ground the first time, so when I came off the right lead I made sure he had that and he jumped great. We did it one more time to the left and took a break.

Because I'm horrible at using this app, this next exercise was done on both sides but I only drew it one one, as above.

This one gave Mo the chance to meet the verticals on the long side at an angle, since this is something he's still a little green about. We'd come off the long side on the right lead and angle 5, then rollback left, up the long side, angle four, rollback right, canter all the way around the ring, angle 1 off the right lead, rollback left, angle 2 off the long side, rollback right, done. We did this one twice just to iron out timing. One thing we learned about Mo is that he didn't care if we found a short or medium or long distance as long as I knew it was happening and was there to support him, and that went really well.

Then the real torture began. This was so much fun.


Now, consider that my horse is not competing at training level. He's at elementary. I think for a horse at his level, this is hard, but he OWNED it. He was a little backed off going from 5 to 3 the first time and chipped for four, but came out in 3 and rode the 2-3-4 line super well. I went back around left to try 5-3-1 again and it went GREAT. And that was the jump school. Honestly, he barely broke a sweat. We went for a nice long walk, and then I gave him a million carrots and told him he's the best horse alive.

Which, of course, he is.

I might be slightly biased


  1. I love this exercise!! A few winters ago my trainer set it up and we rode the 5 in all kinds of combinations -- straight, diagonal, and then this crazy exercise where we rolled back around a fence towards the wall before heading to the center fence. It's such a versatile course!

  2. ooh fun! i've only tried it with three (those labled 3, 4, 5 in your diagram) and loved all the different combos and challenges

  3. That looks so cool!! Very exciting that he's at a place now where he can handle it.

  4. I do believe that course is in my future, so many options. Mo sounds amazing as always!

  5. Fun angled exercises like that make me want to jump again. But I really don't want to, so I live vicariously through everyone else! Congrats on an awesome school :-)

  6. Dude, that "X" exercise looks hard as shit!!