Monday, July 12, 2021

Jump Lesson #3

I tried to use the pivo to record this time, but it recorded our 25 minutes of flat work and then started filming the trees behind it. There were only two spots I could set it because it has to be in the shade or my phone overheats and shuts down. One was under a pavilion with thick support beams and it kept losing us and filming horses in the field behind us when we would go past a support beam. The other was in front of a clump of trees/bushes. It worked okay there until it decided that the trees were more interesting and in spite of being set on continue hunting, it failed. 

Lack of video aside, it was such a great lesson! I was a complete dumb at remembering courses, I'm going to blame still catching up on sleep from overnights and the fact that it was 90 degrees with who knows how much humidity. Other than that though, it went SO SO well. She said he looked even more connected and through than he had just a week ago. We worked on going forward into transitions. Walk-trot was pretty straight forward, if I maintained the connection he would step up nicely into the trot without hollowing. Trot-walk was more challenging for me, when trying to get the walk forward I was often chasing him back into the trot. She wanted the walk rhythm coming from my seat and scolded me for goosing him. Trot-canter was also more challenging, she didn't want me to build him up as much for the canter, she said that if I teach him that we have to "work up" to the canter then that is the way he will always need to be asked. 

(Apologies for the lack of horse/rider in half the video...)

We started out jumping with a one stride. Both jumps had some interesting filler that she said was actually the spookiest stuff she had. He didn't care about it walking up to it, so we started out by angling just to one side of the first jump and then going over the second. After doing that a few times we tackled the whole thing. He ran out at the second jump, I think a combo of the filler and the WTF do I do with my feet in here. I wasn't expecting it so didn't react appropriately. I did yank right hard enough that I knocked over the standard with my foot as he slid out though. The second time through he was wiggly but I was prepared and we got over it. 

We put a few courses together after that. The first jump was an oxer that we were supposed to be trotting into. Like our trot-walk transitions I struggled with getting a good forward energetic trot without letting him slip into the canter at an awkward half stride before the fence. It was asking for forward with leg, but keeping my shoulders up and maintaining trot rhythm with my body. She nailed me for letting him get heavy and flat before the fence. Shockingly this does not lead to a fantastic jump. After the first jump we actually got to canter all the others. I was doing much better at looking at the fences and actually making tiny adjustments to make it happen. I schooled over ground poles on Friday and struggled a good bit with striding then. However, the more I learn about HOW people learn, the more this makes sense - when an error is made it alerts the brain to pay attention to figure out how to fix it. So doing that Friday with lots of errors and then sleeping on it for a few nights was probably the best thing I could have done. Our canter fences felt very different from when we were cantering around little courses back in February. Then he was going because he's a good horse and that was what he was taught, but it was more so flinging legs around over the jumps. This has totally changed his jump over the fences. He is much rounder and uses his back rather than just his long legs. 

I am getting SO much out of these lessons. She's got such a system for teaching the horse and the rider, it really feels like each lesson builds on the last. First we established forward and bending within the gait, now our homework is to execute that in each transition (and she really does mean each... no finishing a course and falling into a heap of a walk). With the jumping, first we established forward after the fences, then we added moving around between the fences, and now we're up to actually cantering the fences which means moving in front of the fences some.

We're headed down next week for another lesson and then are going to go out cross country a week later! Ms. GY is going to come as well, and I'm excited to see her and her gelding ping around the novice and training questions. 


  1. Stories like this are why I haven’t gone for a pivo yet…. For real tho, these lessons sound so great !!

    1. Yeah it's definitely a mixed bag. I now have it working the whole time in the dressage arena at the barn. I haven't tried the big jump field. I think it would work okay if I didn't ever go behind trees. That's when it seems to get lost. The sun+phone problem is an added twist to complicate things, should be okay in the winter, but Florida has 3 seasons of summer!

      100% to the great lessons though!! Regardless of whether I have video or not lol.