Teresa: Saddle & Sit Up!!
Well it’s been a quiet month with Corky and I not doing much in the way of competing.
Corky’s saddle has been reflocked due to muscle wastage showing behind his withers causing his saddle slip back.
My saddle is now re-fitted and with the addition of a gel pad we are now ready for work.
While I was sorting his saddle out my friend Kate took him to do a dressage test (using a dressage saddle) and they did really well. She also commented on his flexibility (must be Tim’s exercises)
We went to Rodbaston College on Sunday to take part in the unnafiliated showjumping, just to try out the improved saddle and gel pad. I was pleasantly surprised to notice a much more ‘ up ‘ canter transition and a horse that seemed more than happy to jump.
First I jumped the 2’6 class which I attempted to keep a constant rhythm (OK until halfway round it’s still w.i.p.) he jumped lovely but he got too close to a fence so we had four faults.
As I was happy with corky but annoyed that I’d not checked his rhythm/ speed before the knockdown I decided to jump the next class forgetting that on Sundays it goes from 2’6 to 3’0-3’3ft !!
So it was a bit of a shock as we cantered to the first fence, he jumped really well, but I realise we still have much work to do !!
My approach to fences has improved and the jump which is Corky’s job is better too but the landing definitely needs work. I really need to sit up quicker.
Consequently Corky ballooned fence 8 and almost jumped me off!! And I then couldn’t steer to fence 9 and overshot it so I decided to retire, as I was as pleased as punch with Corkys performance his flexibility is improving this I put down to Tim’s exercises. It’s just me that needs the work . . . . SIT UP WOMAN !!!!
Tim’s 2nd Exercise
Tim’s 2nd exercise was a serpentine over jumps
On first glance at this exercise I didn’t think it would be quite so difficult.
I set the exercise up in the outdoor arena at my yard and whilst I did find it difficult my first thought was I just need a bit more room.
mmm NOT SO !!
I’d collected Corky’s trot as much as I was able and did the exercise fairly well ( I think) in trot.
I found getting corky to bend around my leg pretty tough but by the end it was all working out better.
I attempted the exercise in canter but really struggled to make each turn as Corkys canter needed to be much shorter but bless him he did really try.
On feeling I needed more space I hired nearby Hilton Equestrian Park arena and this time with more determination to get it right.
I was still finding space an issue but actually realized this was because as I jumped a fence in an attempt to keep him straight I inadvertently was asking corky to land on the wrong leg.
So . . . I changed the way I rode the exercise by bending corky around my leg straightened him to the fence and rode straight for a stride after whilst sitting up as quickly as possible (one of my weaknesses) and then bending again around my leg for the next fence. I found this was getting easier each time we did it.
But . . We still struggled in canter mainly down to me not getting enough bend so, that im afraid is going to be work in progress and added to out flatwork /jump schooling sessions.
Although having looked at the video I was impressed to see as we progressed just how controlled and collected the canter became and how much more I sat up taking more control on what happened after each fence.
This exercise had taught me that I need to sit up and keep control after each fence and straightness and rhythm needs more work.