After our lesson ended and I quickly changed Hens boots and threw my vest on and headed down to the cross country course. It was just me and my coach and I really wanted to get the feel of riding forward and remind myself that I am just as confident jumping xc fences as show jumps.
I started out jumping a little log jump to get our eye in for the solid fences. I always take a few goes to ride forward enough and I was no different that day though I did feel like I got the right pace a bit faster. The ground was very wet and Bec told me I needed to support Henry with my leg to help him keep his legs underneath him. I hate riding on wet ground and always under ride but this session helped me to overcome that!
We quickly added some more jumps, a chevron and another large log and I rode forward and got really good spots to every jump. It was so easy and Henry was relaxed and happy. We moved to a different part of the course with the sunken road and again had some really good jumps. Henry was forward and adjustable and all I needed to do was keep my leg on and set the pace early. I identified quickly when I didn’t have a quality canter and from then I made sure I always had the canter I needed.
We jumped some good lines at the sunken road, including a fairly decent fence that would be at home on a 95 course. Henry was perfect over everything and so we went over to the water.
Again we quickly checked off going in and out, then jumping out before jumping in. Henry was a bit wobbly jumping in, but he was super at going forward off my leg and popped in without hesitating. We incorporated the water into a course, and I was feeling very brave.
Bec normally avoids having us jump large fixed oxers xc training, preferring us to train technical lines and saving jumping big fences on the arena where they will fall down if something goes wrong. When I was picking fences to jump, I was having to be picky because of the ground. There is a 95 oxer that is big and square, which I hate and I have always worried about it when it’s in a course I’ve ridden Coolie over. Anyway I looked at it and thought yep, I’m gonna do it. Bec also thought it was a good idea (which says everything!). So we jumped a little box, which I needed to ride more forward to, jumped into the water, came round over a large roll top which I took a pull into, Henry was drifting right and I corrected him with my hands instead of my leg. Bec told me off, I circled before the big oxer, got the right canter, supported with my leg and Henry flew over. He nearly pinged me out of the saddle, then we kept the flow and finished with a smaller log under some trees.
That oxer was the best jump I rode all day. I really do ride bigger jumps better! We finished just as the rain started and I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. All session Henry was easy and adjustable, I have never had a ride like it. It was so, so easy to do my job and steer and add leg. I didn’t always get it right, I need to remember to ride more forward even at little jumps and I need to keep my right leg on more to correct any drift but the mistakes were just small easy things to fix.
Henry was confident and had confidence in me. He was willing to trust me and the whole session gave me so much confidence. Never once did he feel like he was overfaced, or that the jumps were too big. He felt like he could have jumped anything. I have never had a horse easier to ride and it’s kinda hard to get my brain around. I am so used to Coolie pulling me into fences and taking over. Henry draws us to the fences but he is polite about it!
I am super excited for the next month, and am counting down until hit the xc course again!
Looks like it was so much fun!ReplyDelete
It was the best, and so good to get back out there!Delete
What a great outing! Nicely done!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, it just feels so good when everything comes together!Delete
Good job! Henry is turning out to be such a great partner. I love all your posts about him as you sound so happyReplyDelete