Entries have been sent for the April 28th derby at the Meadows of Moorpark. My goal is simple: perform better than last time!
|Seriously I love this diagram.|
In our training we are working on the magical combination of connection and impulsion. Since Hemie showed us early on that he gets stuck in place when frustrated or overwhelmed, our training has always focused on forward. (Ironic for an ex-racehorse, no?) Slowly but surely we’ve been adding rein contact, to the point now where we can do a full ride with some level of connection.
Currently we are focusing on making sure Hemie does not slow his pace or decrease energy when increasing rein contact. Likewise, we are working on adding leg to get more connection to the bit and increased energy without going faster or doing an upward transition. Understandably, this is a hard concept for an OTTB (or any green horse) to understand. And since I have minimal experience riding horses who know how to do this, its been challenging for me as a rider to cue properly. I gotta make sure I give clear aids, at exactly the right time, to let Hemie know what we want.
I’ve been focusing on a few main things in my practice rides lately:
- Jumping form: keeping a rock solid lower leg with no swinging.
- Dressage position: sitting back on my pockets more and having better upper body posture so I can use my core rather than shoulders.
- Solid outside rein contact, especially on the left.
- Maintaining good impulsion and good connection at all times, even when tootling around bareback, and most especially when Hemie is thinking about spooking. Forward to the hand!
I regularly include stirrupless riding in my dressage saddle, but I haven’t been doing it in my jump saddle. I know in my gut that I should, and that it would help with my lower leg.
Back to our upcoming show, it is taking place on my and Hemie’s 1-year adoption anniversary. Seems like such a long time, yet so short too!
Another wish I have for the show (I’m not calling it a goal on purpose) is to not come in last place. As I’ve explained to the hubby, if I perform my best at a show, and it just so happens to be not as good as the other competitors doing their best, then that is 100% fine and I will be proud to have performed the best I could. But, still, it is a competition. Everyone is going for the blue ribbon every time. Blues may be unrealistic for us at this point, but not last sounds like it could be achievable. =]