I have got to take a break from studying for two midterms tomorrow. I'm reaching the point where I'm just re-reading sentences and nothing is processing. No bueno. I'm also trying to suppress my excitement for The Hunger Games. I'm trying, I really am!
So, what to do as a quick break besides eat stuff?
CRITIQUE MY RIDING! I mean, how self-centered does one have to be? Oh, well!
Also, I got a hold of this article in Practical Horseman and felt I could definitely use those tips. But which ones, which ones? Let's see....
The Pogues FTW :)
#2... I have gotten much better on keeping my shoulders back and my chest open. It's so much easier in dressage... or if I didn't have the torso of a spider monkey. Well, the body of a spider monkey, really. There was a couple of jumps during this ride that I actually kept a no-tension ideal over a fence! Definitely a lot of core control to move forward with the horse's body, and not necessarily release with your arms (which causes my entire upper body to collapse) but more with my torso, if you get what I'm sayin'.
#3... used to be a problem, and I only did it once on the second fence of the outside line combination, and it felt so bad. That's how I knew I've just about made it a habit to sit up and not truck around like a vulture towards a jump. It's hard, and it's not perfect, but it's getting there.
#8... I kind of have a problem with this, but mainly because my stirrups were a hole or two too long (they were actually two holes shorter, but felt too short, and now they look too long in this video), Butters does not have a lot of barrel to stabilize against (small horses are good in that they can scramble out of a bad situation better than a large horse can, but they don't give you much leeway as far as staying on if you're a taller rider), and this saddle obviously is not forward enough for my Sasquatch thighs. Seriously, if ever I get a jumping saddle, those flaps better be long and FOR-WARD. That's going to be fun trying to find!
#10... I surprised myself here. In dressage mode, my heels usually sink so far down that they will slip from my stirrup. The balls of my foot are just barely touching them! I really could have them pulled out from under me and I'd be fine! Jumping? hahahahaha... no. Totally different balance and set of muscles. This might also once again have to do with having my stirrups just a touch too long. And Pam Baker did bring up a good point in keeping your horse's shoulders in front of you. That is VERY hard to do on Butters. He can do lovely dressage, but getting him to that point is way too hard. Possible, but hard. And he has a lovely tendency to duck out at the last minute on fences (happened several times during this ride, I stayed on, but they were some icky stops) if he doesn't feel confident. It's not always telltale several strides before the fence either. So sometimes in my defensive riding and steering his shoulders to the fence, he will get behind me. And I draw my heel up to urge him on when calf pressure doesn't work. BAM PROBLEM SOLVED. And it's really not that bad, but I can do better.
Also, I still get left behind sometimes. I think that has a lot to do with core control and just becoming more comfortable with the movement and timing of a jump. And I still obviously don't have enough balance in a jumping saddle, so I revert to ancient habits of balancing with my hands, which would probably account for the pumping.
I AM SO USED TO DRESSAGE STUFFZ!
What do you guys think? What are you riding faults you want to work on?