Thursday, October 18, 2012

Activate Racehorse Mode

Hemie and I had a fabulous jumping lesson tonight. Except for getting run away with. Other than that, it was peachy.

I got off work a bit early so I had plenty of time to warm up and really work on a good outside connection before Laurie arrived. Only 2 more weeks left of having some daylight to tack up in. Daylight savings will be here too soon!

For our lesson we mostly worked on adustability of stride by getting more or less strides in a jumping line. Hemie is learning to really move forward and cover ground, but also learning to listen and wait.

Remember...OTTB means they were a RACE-horse. =P
It was dusk, so the first part of the lesson had the last few strands of sunlight, but then we had to turn on arena lights. Right in that awkward dark time, we changed a jump from a vertical to a square oxer. No biggie, except that Hemie didn't see the new rear pole until we were 1/2 a stride from the jump. He practically halted, then launched over the jump - I got thrown out of the saddle (I *should* have been grabbing mane!) and landed super heavy and awkwardly on his back, and apparently that is the magic button to activate racehorse mode!

He took off, I had no stirrups, reins flopping in the wind, I'm awkwardly hunched, and we careened around the jumps. For the first 2 seconds I tried to pick up my stirrups, but that made him go faster so I just relaxed my legs and focused on picking up reins. I got him under control in about 1/2 the arena length. To be honest I'm impressed with myself for staying on. And thankful to have a horse that "gets over it" quite fast - we just got right back down to business and got over the oxer without issue.

Anyway, I'm very proud of Hemie for tonight's ride. We were able to get from 5 strides to 7 strides in the same line, relaxed and balanced in with good rhythm. We've got a small local show this Sunday at a facility Hemie's never been to, and my goal is to (a) not fall off, (b) not get eliminated, (c) feel like we are moving forward between the fences rather than up and down. Lofty goals, I know. ;]

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