Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Griffin Loves Jumping

I've spammed media across instagram and some on my Facebook, so I reckon it's about time to spam ye olde blog with it as well.

June 24; pulled the ghetto cavaletti out for a short sunset session
June 25; another session with the ghetto cavaletti
June 29; lunging for awhile before we had a short film session under saddle

Ever watchful as I set up jumps for the day

June 29 under saddle video

July 6 video

We're practicing a few days a week now. Video is the only way I can look at myself and learn and modify. I'm 110% self taught at this jumping thing. I've never had a lesson - only really wonderful friends who have given me pointers along the way. I'm fortunate to have a talented little gelding who absolutely LOVES this jumping thing though!

Griffin and I work very well as a team. We're both able to be very forgiving of the others errors as we're learning each step of the way. I think I've *got it* and keep my shit together only to make another small error. He thinks he's *got it* and keeps his shit together only to make another small error. We're both like, "YES?! Oh. Well, hmm. AGAIN!"

The predominant theme throughout every session has been one of understanding and learning. Neither side of this partnership has gotten angry at the other for Not Being Able To Do. I accept that I'm new to this and he's new to this. I accept that I've got lots to learn to be able to be better for him. When he gets lazy and doesn't pick up his feet totally, I tell him, "Okay, that's on you, let's try it again and do a better job this time." But by and large, most of the time I'm telling him things like, "That was great! Now I have to get my shit together to be better for you." or "Okay. Great job. The error was totally my bad. I need to sit up and RIDE you through that instead of not supporting you at all. Thanks for keeping it together for me!" or "Dude, tell me to count your strides so we can be better at this. Don't worry, I'm going to try harder for you." Yep, it's definitely my job to be better at all of these things for him! And practice makes perfect.

We're definitely moving forward in a good direction. We continue to have great sessions, continually building a little bit on things from the previous ride. Lately, a session lasts about 45 minutes and flows in the following format:
  1. I start the sessions by lunging him to warm him up. 
  2. Then I move the jumps for the day and lunge him some more. 
  3. After that, I get on and we do some flat work in the field. Lots of bending lines and circles and serpentines and the like. I also focus on having him really use himself properly and moving forward into the contact. I do this to warm myself up and get his focus on me. 
  4. Finally, we will do jumping under saddle. We usually do 3 or 4 times through whatever we're going to do for the day without the camera to make sure all parties are focused before pausing to turn the video on. The video captures 85% of the jumping we do.
I'm sure I'll modify this little schedule as time passes. It suits us well at the present time.

Bottom line: Griffin adores this work. He's so game and eager every single time. I also love it and really enjoy having a horse who is so happy and tries so hard. I'll definitely be trying my hand at eventing next year - I owe it to Griffin to let him do the job he loves.

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