Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pushing Boundaries

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got..."

Or something like that!

Coach said Fancy Pony needs to learn how to NOT over-react to oxers.  So, the plan was: Jump more oxers!

She put some poles on the ground in parallel with a third pole on the oblique.  She asks, "What is this?"

My excited response: "It's a ditch!"

...obviously, right?  Because that's what ditches look like?


We jump the ditch.  Then it gets wider...  And we jump it some more. And it gets wider... and wider... and wider!!

THEN, it comes up off the ground!!!

It may have also been raised once while I wasn't looking, because we were now jumping this:

It's, like, as wide as my pony is long!

Eventually, we moved on to more normal-looking oxers, but the fancy pony started losing her normal jump...

I found myself in moments like this:

I know it's all me.

Luckily, we also had some of this:

This is what I think is happening:
I found the balanced canter, and it is comfortable!  It's the place I want to be!
Now, I need a longer, somewhat faster, canter to jump this fence correctly.  But when I let her go, she immediately feels more downhill and unbalanced.  This makes me feel like we aren't balanced enough to take the fence.  But, if I ask her to balance, I inadvertently ask her to collect as well, and that doesn't help us get the long, smooth arc we need for the oxer...

What is a girl to do?
I'm thinking: Gallop brush fences! (You know, itty bitty ones)


  1. I struggle with oxers sometimes because mentally they are SO BIG. I always try to stretch up through my core and ride to the base.

    1. I *LOVE* oxers! They are really my favorite. They normally ride so smoothly, and my horse feels like there is a lovely arch... I think I started getting funny when I started getting the rabbit jumps... And I know I'm riding more conservative with my back in minor distress... *sigh*
      I think riding to the base with too much collection is what did me in! Always something to work on, though, and if I wasn't struggling, then I would think I wasn't challenging myself enough. ;)

  2. Ha. I'm going to have to work more on oxers this year. I have this weird mental thing about them that I need to work through. That low, wide oxer looks nuts. :-)

    1. The width was really playing a mental game with me, bit it really is easy to jump! I can't wait to get more confident with it!
      ...and more consistent over the oxers overall...
      They used to be my forte!

  3. Love oxers too! I really like your trainer's plan to work on her over-jumping them. She looks great.

    1. Thank you! I really love the methodical approach of my coach. And she lets me know why we're working each exercise so I have my own tools in the future. It also lets me know what to focus on in the "right now". :)

  4. Replies
    1. I really want to jump a real one with the Fancy Pony! The last time we schooled XC, we would have, but it was overgrown with thistles. :(
      The O-Pie was so easy over ditches! And oxers...
      It's going to happen this year, though! And if I'm lucky, someone will be taking video!! ;)

  5. Forward forward forward! :)

    I love Oxers too, esp Swedish ones!

    1. Oh, yeah! We've only done the one swedish, but I want to do more of those, too!

  6. Wow she is really moving! You guys look great. Love jumping green beans!

    1. Thanks! She is really getting it figured out: get to the jump, go over it. :)
      It has been such a wonderful realization that she will ALWAYS jump! What a confidence booster!!



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