Last Friday, I did something out of the usual for me and worked! I typically work 4-10s and have 3-day weekends, but with fall in the air and climbing season in full swing, I'm trying to make some time for getaways so I'm including some Friday work here and there to have a 4-day weekend at some point during the pay period. (Currently hoping to climb Thursday/Friday this week...but the long lasting drought we've had seems to be ending abruptly with rain in the forecast for the first time in 2+ months beginning Thursday -_-.)
Following work on Friday, I had time on my hands to head to the barn and enjoy myself for a good 3 hour window that didn't involve any hard schedule other than "ride Griffin for 30-40 minutes at some point". I don't have enough of those kind of days at the barn! Usually I have a much smaller window.
So, with my copious amount of time, I re-did my jump field and turned the course into a grid instead.
|C = cavaletti, G = ground pole, V = vertical, O = oxer|
In reality, we ended up having more ground poles than verticals
Monica's grid from Labor Day inspired me. I thought Griffin would really enjoy a big grid and I thought I could push height with him a lot on that final oxer.
I was super fortunate to have both a photographer AND jump crew on this day. I NEVER have such a luxury! I need to start goading some friends into this more in the future!
|Happy boy looking around|
|This Wintec is great, but I need to invest in a jumping saddle; the chair seat this thing puts me into isn't helping|
|Asking for more bend, getting an Opinion in response|
I warmed Griffin up at the trot and canter for a bit before taking him through the exercise the first time. He was very rateable throughout the exercise. The dressage work we've been doing has done wonders for our control and creating a more tightly coiled spring of a horse so far as his gaits go. I can wind him up real tight or leg him stretch out more.
Our first sweep through the grid was a bit awkward. I got off Griffin's back and stayed out of his mouth and just let him figure it out. I knew he would, and he did. Our second sweep went better, and by the third, he understood the game.
In the beginning, the oxer at the end was set to 2'3" and by the end of our session, we'd bumped it up to 3'3".
|Happy ears. Front pole down on purpose in beginning.|
|Please note Kenai.|
|My favorite. He's perfect <3|
|Adding some height. Also increasing our power going into the jump.|
|Happy ears all day.|
|I love his expression|
|I will forever think of this point in time over a jump as "carousel horse"|
|Flying on my carousel horse|
|Tuck those hind feet, boy!|
Griffin clipped the poles on the oxer twice (once at 3' and once at 3'3", but never his first time over), but not enough that they fell. I think he was just figuring out how to put forth adequate effort without over-jumping after his first initial "oomph" over the height. His first go over a new height is always a little over-zealous and then he dials back. With time, I'm sure the differences in height and the effort needed for each will be more second nature for us both, but for now we're still learning and that's why we practice exercises like this one!
I haven't jumped Griffin over heights like this since October 2015 and I'm tickled with how he did. Kid has springs in his feet.
As far as my position and my effort goes, I definitely found things a little easier than I did last year! Granted, I still need to improve my position to be more solid over a bigger height and in general I need to work through jumping exercises more often than we have been. I'm still quite defensive which really presents itself with my roached back over fences. As we did more iterations at each height though, I became more comfortable. I know with time, practice, and critical assessment to photos and video, I will get better. And when I'm better, Griffin will improve, too!
So much fun. I adore this horse and can't believe I've trained him from the ground up.
|Reppin' my endurance "To Finish is to Win" shirt while jumping|