Saturday, April 27, 2013

Gymnastic Time

Recently, Cadence has been pretty strong in her jumping work. Which isn't to say she was bad; its kind of like she's just constantly pushing. Rather than having relaxation in our jumping work, she was always pushing, pushing, pushing. On the one hand, this is a good thing. She's eager, engaged, and jumping really well, but there was also a bit of disregard for rider input in our work as well. She had it in her head how things were supposed to be done, and that was that.
So my goal going into our jump school today was to have a more elastic & responsive horse at the end of our ride. One of the new boarders brought some of those cavaletti box standards with her which are awesomely light, but their max height is like 2' or 2'3, which kind of limits their usefulness! Anywho, I wanted to try to use as many of them as possible, as it just makes jumping so much easier. So with that & my goal for our ride in mind, I decided to do a simple 1-stride gymnastic with a vertical, to a low-wide oxer to a larger vertical. Great exercise for the mare as she has to constantly change her form, and since I set it a bit tight (17' to 20') she would really need to rock back ' use herself.
Cadence warmed up well, & was perfectly ladylike while we hopped back & forth over our cross rail, but got a bit energetic & strong once we started to actually jump. I should probably point out that when I say she's energetic &strong, to an outsider she probably looks perfectly normal. She doesn't bolt off or rush fences or anything. Its more like she puts way more force than is necessary into everything- every jump, every transition, etc. is infused with excess energy, and sometimes tension, but I digress. So we started with the final vertical at 3'-3'3, but the exercise wasn't really achieving the desired goal, so I popped the vertical up a few holes & we jumped through it again. This time, Cadence was brilliant! Its like she needs the extra height to focus... Anywho, the final dimensions for the oxer were 4' wide by 2'3 tall, and the vertical was 4' tall.


  1. We did something similar last week with my just 4 yr old gelding. He wasn't paying much attention to the lower stuff and, like you describe, he wasn't bad but not exactly responsive, either. We put one vertical in the gym line to 3' (which is higher than I've done with him, being a baby) and everything was fantastic. Then again, this week he deaked out on a cross rail in a series of bounces! Granted, I was having major focus issues but still!

    1. Babies. Never a dull moment, and they always keep you on your toes!

      On a completely different note, height tends to be a relative thing. 4' is what we'd consider height work for my mare, but for some other horses I ride, 2'9 would be our height work :) It's all dependent on the horse, and where they are in their training.