April 02, 2009

Jumping in the Sun

After a nasty frost this morning it turned into a stunning day! Just perfect for heading down the the arena and doing some schooling on some of the horses. Anna did a bit of flatwork and some crossrails before we got into it.

The aim for today's session was really to get more experience and confidence with combinations. At home we've been working on adjusting the canter, and today I found her super through the combinations for striding. At times she'd get a little wobbly, so we incorporated some crossrails into the grids and I focused on keeping her straight between my leg and seat. She has such a fab jump, and it didn't take long before she was straight as an arrow.

Also did a 3.5 stride related line, riding for either the long three strides or the tighter 4. She seems to jump quite happily from anywhere, and she listens well - which makes her easy to adjust. After that we played a little with some angles and just had some fun. She is such a cute horse!

Xev has such a huge stride to ride, especially her walk. And a really soft mouth too.. we did some cantering around on the buckle and she just kept going without changing her rhythm at all.

I've not jumped Xev before - so we started with a crossrail just to get a feel for each other. She has quite a big jump on her, and coupled with the long strides I had to adjust my riding a little until I got accustomed to it. She's nice though, doesn't rush into her fences. She had a good look at the picket fence the first time she went over it (and cleared it by about double!) but she seems quite willing. I think she will do a nice showhunter round too.

Through the combinations she was really forward, which is good. But when we had a play with angles it took her a few goes to work out what I wanted. As she is quite big, I think if she's showjumping she'll need to do good angles because her stride won't give her the nippy tight turns that some of the smaller horses can get away with.

Dani has been very unbalanced to ride at home, but yesterday's ride was better. Still, I wasn't sure what to expect today. He wasn't phased at all by being something different.. and only spooked at a few things alongside the arena. He did some good work on the flat - but being fairly unfit I think it was quite difficult for him. Good to see his balance getting better though. His canter is a lot better when I'm off his back too, which was interesting.

I only did a couple of jumps on Dani, but he was actually really calm and seemed to jump happily. He isn't as forward in the combinations as Xev and Anna, so will need some more mileage there to make the longer stride distances. Overall I was quite impressed with him though.

Now that I've had a jump on both Xev and Dani I am happy to take them both along to Levin Sports this weekend (with Neo & Anna too) and do some jumping classes. Hope the weather is like today!


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