After what felt like a year of rainy days… Finally, I was back in the saddle!
I decided to take a casual warm up approach.
Those of you that have been following along may already know how much I enjoy
practicing my walk, trot, and canter on the buckle and just let my horse decide
where we go. My only stipulation is that
she remain in the gait I requested. This
was my warm up.
Those who have been following along may also know about the policy I put into
place from the day I started riding the Fancy Pony regarding jumps. If she approaches the jump on her own accord,
we go over it. Period.
When I set this policy in place, the sorts of jumps we would be approaching
were, perhaps, 12”-18”.
There were several jumps set up around the arena at about 2’-2’3”. No big deal, but not totally insignificant,
We walked all over the place. We walked
long diagonals. We walked circles (sort
Then, we trotted.
We trotted circles (again, sort of), and diagonals.
And guess who approached a jump…
I didn’t even have to tell her what to do.
She just nonchalantly approached this 2’3” rail with a Christmas tree
under it, and trotted on over it and out the other side. All I did was post!
I thought, “OK, now that you’ve got that out of your system, we can continue
this warm up.”
Then, she took herself to it and trotted it again!
When we moved on to cantering on the buckle, she had the most polite canter
ever (while maintain a true and energetic canter) and ultimately took herself
over a small vertical and the tree again!
At this point, I decided we had just about enough warming up (obviously
she was ready for work), and got down to business.
It was a day of transitions.
10 trot steps – 10 walk steps – 10 trot – 10 walk
All while riding the circle
or the long diagonal
sitting the trot
Now, make it 5.
5 trot – 5 walk – 5 trot – 5 walk
So, my horse can count. I have to change
She was focused for me and tried her best to stay in the bridle and carry
herself. To carry us both, really…
Then came the canter work!
Maintaining this idea of keeping it together through the transitions, she
stepped deep into the first canter.
And, oh holy cow could I feel the JUMP!
THIS is what the judges mean when they want to see more jump in the canter!
I *GET* it, now!!
I focused on maintaining rideability while keeping the jump in the canter. I tried to set her up for quiet, balanced
downward transitions (which we got about 80% of the time).
Back to the trot work and trot-walk-trot transitions, just to make sure it all
And then, we were just done.
Walked out and cooled off. I didn’t want
to overdo it, and she was so incredibly focused and giving, I wanted to end on
a good note.
Next ride will be musical ponies through jump grids…
But, after that, I’m going to try our canter-trot-canter transitions!!