Finally!!! Jumping!!!! Whoo hoo. It's been so long since we jumped. :) Taking those three months or so off to prep for the dresssage show has made me realize how that was not necessarily a good idea. I'm rusty!! And I know, dressage will only help my jumping. BUT.. it doesn't help the nerves or the form. Ugh.
Anyways, we had a lesson with Kelly and I told her that I wanted to get back in the groove and I wanted to be pretty. I wanted to look professional. I wanted to have that perfect question mark form. I didn't want to be ahead of the cantle, ahead of the motion, or with my hands floating in air. I wanted to look like a bad ass! So we worked on it. We started off small and we discussed the canter a little bit. Kelly basically said that for now, to just get a happy "farting around ashland" canter and let Dan do his job while we worked on me. My job was to grab mane, follow the neck motion, and remain fairly still. She wanted my feet to come forward as my hands did and my butt to slide back, but then swing my hips forward as we were landing. And goshdarnit.. that's hard! It took a lot of work.
I did glean one super helpful bit from this though. I've always been told that as my hands go forward, to release, my feet should go forward to (My landing gear). But while I could understand it, and do it statically... I couldn't ever seem to grasp it in the motion. Kelly had me do it while we were just cantering around. Ah.... I'm not sure why, but the repetitive motion of doing it while I was cantering around really helped. So... cool! Not sure it really worked the same way when I was jumping, but I do think it helped. So then she had me drop my stirrups over the fences to feel the hip swoop. And... while I get where she was going with it, it kind of confused me. Because... I thought I wanted to swing my butt back in the saddle (push back so I'm at the center, not over the cantle), but the hip swoop made me think that I was swooping forward. And I think she meant on landing... so when I do push my butt back, I'm not then landing behind the motion or getting tipped... so.. we also talked about the three phases of the jump and how my position should be and I think that I need to stay fairly upright and waiting on take off, then push my butt back and my feet forward and my sternum up at the jump, and then upon landing, I need to push my feet forward still (or maybe even more) and allow my hips to slide. Sigh.. Again, this is hard!!! Especially when I'm overthinkinging it.
But.. we made some progress. Oh and then we jumped a few bigger fences to see what happens... yeah.. my form goes down the crapper. But we came up to the chevron with rainbow fake grass on it. It wasn't huge but it was fairly big. And it wasn't a skinny because it had wings and such, but we came up to it and Dan slightly backed off and looked and I closed my leg and he jumped it! Whee!!! And.. I kind of liked my form over it too. Ha! Of course... because I didn't have time to think about it. :)
Anyways... my homework is to beebop around and just jump things at my leisure in my happy canter and to drop my stirrups and feel the motion in my hips.