Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The jumping condundrum....

This whole jumping business makes me go "hmm.....". I've been practising it a fair bit and it is getting better but I still don't feel like I'm that good at it. X-rails, we can do all day long and they are feeling really good. However, once it goes up to a vertical.... things seem to fall apart a bit.
Part of the issue is maintaining a good rhythm (on the accordian mare as I like to refer to her as...) and thus, finding a nice distance. It seems that our tendancy is to come up to the fence with a good rhythm and at the last minute, suck back and pop a nasty chip in. Let me tell you, it doesn't feel nice on the back. However, neither does taking off from a really long spot and launching over the fence...

I'm definitely feeling a little bit intimidated by the fact that I entered in a show this friday and it's mainly jumping.... It's bizarre to be a bit wigged out by a 2'0" and 2'3" division... That's just small potatoes... but not so much in a sidesaddle. I figure as long as my right leg doesn't give out and I can cling on, we should at least make it around even if it isn't totally pretty... lol

Issue #2 is jumping a fence on the right lead vs. the left lead. I seem to have a heck of a time keeping my right shoulder back over the fence and on landing. My whole body really wants to twist to the left over the fence, again, doesn't feel so nice especially combined with a not so nice distance....

Hopefully we can get this down pat in the next few days and don't make a complete arse out of ourselves!! LOL


  1. WOW - jumping.. jumping anything is jaw dropping for me.. so pretty or not, just stop and take in what you have accomplished so far!


  2. True true! You are right! I just desperately want to be able to jump and do it well! Practice, practice I suppose!

    Hopefully in the next few days when I finish up the last of my sewing!

  3. There's a fix for that tendency to twist over a fence...crude, but here goes:
    "Put your Left Boob to your Right Knee."
    Trust me, it works.

    I know that long spots can be nerve wracking, but they are better than the pop and chip spots. At small heights finding the correct spot is even more challenging than normal sized ones, but I'd recommend using a bit longer stride and just taking the fences as BIG canter strides. The longer and flatter the bascule, the less you'll get jostled and the smoother the trip. (provided, of course, that you don't get left) Just resign yourself to those awkward trips we all have to take in order to reach that sidesaddle ease over fences. It's extremely important to keep your mare straight into the fence; so often you see ladies cantering into a line with the haunches slightly to the right which they then try to counteract by pulling the horse left. All they get is a twisted fence which looks and rides awful. Also, try to cue for your leads well ahead of time...I encourage my horses to land on the new lead before I leave the ground. Unless you've got a horse with autochanges, trying to swap and find your new line aside can be a bit overwhelming.

    I'm sure you'll do fine.

  4. Thanks Robin! The issue is really getting & keeping that long/big stride. The mare really is like an accordian and can go from a massive 12'+ stride to an 8' stride at the blink of an eye. She's really not easy to jump astride... and now I'm trying to make it work sidesaddle! lol I do find that just doing it more and doing as you said, make sure she's straight and try to keep her forward and then just let her figure it out, she is getting better. I'm just a little worried that she's going to REALLY overjump when we get to the show and there are flowers & brush under the fences.... I think I may need a drink (or 3) before I ride friday!!