Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Jumping Exercise

We have a small arena, and at this time of year, only half of it is usable. This can make jump practice a bit tricky.

The mare is very easy to actually jump, in that if it has poles you just point and shoot! Turning and general control however are not our strong points. Neither is anything 'unusual'

With this in mind I wanted to practice the bits we found hard. So this jumping exercise is perfect. Four poles set up in a + shape, with a jump stand on the outside edges, and a stack of tyres in the middle (a block would have been the obvious choice, but you have to work with what you've got!)  This took up about the same space as a 20m circle.

The small jumps helped us to concentrate and for me to sit quietly and not over ride. Because of the jump layout the mare was listening to me instead of fighting, which was rather nice! I should have planned my routes a bit better though, to get more of a flowing round. It was a little disjointed at times.

We then attempted the tyres in the middle. This surprised us both as I half expected her to stop, but she jumped it with a lot of space to spare (beautifully basculed too) However, she then proceeded to stop the next few times. I think I wasn't being assertive enough going in to the fence, so she quite rightly said 'No'
We popped a couple more of the straightforward jumps and I asked again for the tyres and this time she went. We jumped it a few more times (still bigger than necessary) and then called it a day.

So now I know I need to get her used to spooky and unusual jumps. Time to get out the feed bags!

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