Monday, December 24, 2012

Jump Clinic Review~

I can feel the work of the jump clinic in every muscle in my body, particularly my back.  I'm told that as my legs get stronger, the pain in my back will lessen but today I'm feeling stiff and sore.  Sundays are usually riding days for Tessa and I, but I figured if I'm this stiff and sore she probably is too.  So we took our Sunday off.  I got some cleaning done, some last minute Christmas shopping and some much needed napping.

So, let's see what I can remember from the jump clinic.

I was frustrated because the second day we had to spend an inordinately large amount of my time on getting Tessa to canter on the correct lead.  We've been having some trouble with our right lead canter and it just fell apart on Saturday.  Sigh.

Okay, wait.  Let's start on the first day.  I was so nervous I thought I might throw up.  I got on anyway.  I learned that my horse's attitude is a direct response to my nerves.  She was a hot mess, kicking and bucking and spooking.  I whined for a minute at Linda that I thought maybe I should have someone else warm her up.  Linda shook her head and smiled sympathetically at me.  "Just ride her through this."  I glared at her (sorry Linda!) and went back to riding.  Sure enough, when my adrenaline simmered down and my muscles stopped being hard as a rock, Tessa got over herself and we went to work.

The first day was doing two point exercises.  First get in two point, then put reins in one hand, grab mane and push your legs deeper.  One of the things I really enjoyed about Marc was that he worked with where you were at and said there's no shame in holding mane until your legs get strong enough.  We went from that to leaning our upper bodies down so that our noses were touching our horses necks.  I was praying fervently to the God of Spooky Arabian Horses With Rubbernecks that Tessa would keep her head down and not smash my nose. My prayers must have worked because we survived.  When our upper bodies were down, our legs stretched even deeper.

After that we did some cantering over ground poles and then one jump.  He focused on getting forward (poor pony and I.  Maybe we really should look into Western Pleasure.) for a good portion of things.  He kept saying "Go somewhere!  REALLY go somewhere!".  After watching some video footage, I realized that what FEELS like GOING somewhere is really a lovely Western Pleasure canter.  

The other thing he focused on was waiting, waiting, waiting.  Wait for the jump.  Wait with your shoulders.  I saw this over and over again with most riders.  We all anticipate.  It's hard not to!  We only jumped one jump.  Nothing complicated.  He worked a lot on our form over the jump.  Shoulders back, don't anticipate, long legs.  It was hard work but I could really tell a difference the last time we went over the jump.

I'm working on getting some video up, but at the moment I can't edit and my darling non-horsey husband took a lot of random video.  So, in the meantime here's what we looked like before we rode.  I even busted out with a cute sweater for the clinic!  Too bad you can't see my polished boots in this picture.  I will try and post more pictures later today or tomorrow.  Merry Christmas Eve everyone!  I have to run out to the barn now and give my pony a kiss and a carrot.


  1. Awww how cute is Tessa posing for the camera :) I cant wait to see some video of your rides

  2. You both get a 10 for turnout! Great job Mona :) Sounds like the jump clinic was a huge success and good for both of you.

  3. Very cute. I always find that what feels like flying is so much slower than you realize.