Saturday, August 10, 2013

"If She Gets Irritated, You're Doing it Right"

I had another lesson on Tia on Thursday since Buddy's still a little too foot sore to jump.  The theme was basically to do everything Tia doesn't like; moving her shoulder over, bending lines, and counter canter.  During our warm up we were able to get a lap around the field of counter canter each direction which is huge for her.  I think the fact that the field is so big helped, I was able to soften and widen the turns to help her keep the lead.  She didn't like it but got lots of pats and was told she's a good girl.

We warmed up trotting over a couple crossrails and it was ugly.  Tia is not at all impressed with trot fences and will wait till the last possible second then heave her body over them.  I had spurs on, and was trying as hard as I can to jumper her off my leg/spur but to no avail.  We gave up and cantered the x, working on getting her outside shoulder in and being straight.

From there we schooled the first part of the triple combo again working on making her go forward to the fence and keeping her body straight.  The first few times we were really crooked and I was having a hard time getting her right/outside shoulder to move around off my leg.  Jen said to really get after her with my spurs and to make sure I moved my body around the turn as well.  Once we got it, I could feel her get mad and she had this short, choppy stride.  The third element in the triple went up and once I had her straight and forward it rode really well.  Jen said it all, "If you feel her get irritated, you're doing it right but if you get irritated somethings wrong".

 A big part of the problem was the saddle.  Mine doesn't fit Tia who has huge withers and the saddle normally used on her is a Wintec all purpose, which I hate.  The flaps are long and it has big knee rolls that made me pinch with my knee and made me unable to really put my calf on her.  To get my calf on her, I had to turn my toe way out and take my knee completely off the saddle.  Jen and I talked and we're going to raid the tack room and see if we can either make my saddle work with creative padding and/or trying some other saddles.

After the triple we moved on to an outside line in a short three, provided that I came in with enough pace.  Tia's deceptive, she had a big stride but lacks impulsion and tends to get strung out.  I had to have her up and bouncy coming into the line, then just steady her for the three.  Unfortunately because of the saddle I kept getting jumped out of the tack over the oxer.  I couldn't get up out of the saddle as much as I would have liked, and Tia's jump would end up launching me.  I felt so bad because I was popping her in the mouth no matter what but she didn't seem to mind. Thank goodness for school horses with iron mouths, right?

We then did a bending line from a diagonal vertical to the oxer that ended up being more of a S curve than bending line.  I had to take the first fence on an angle, left to right, going really deep then moving her left shoulder over. The first few times we just did the first fence to make her get it, as she was sure we were asking the impossible.  Tia has a lot of really nice training on her, is the perfect hunter, but can not stand jumps on angles, rollbacks, and other jumpery things.

The red crossrial was our first fence in the bending line, only it was a vertical.

To make it to the oxer I had to swing out to the right then straighten her up and move forward to it.  We were getting stuck during a lead change and kept getting awkward spots to the oxer which didn't help with my getting jumped out of the tack at all. Jen put down a canter pole next to the oxer and had us go over that instead to find the rhythm and get her moving forward.  After a few times Tia seemed to figure it out and we went back to the oxer. We were able to nail it, and got a nice line with a forward ride to the oxer.  We ended there since she was getting tired and had tried really hard.

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