This morning, Robin and I braved the CHILLY CHILLY CHILLY temperatures to head over to the indoor to do some jumping (seriously. it was freezing. we rode over with our heavyweight blankets over our saddles and my hands and feet were still going numb even after 45 minutes of riding and jumping, whereas normally I can rip my gloves off almost as soon as I get started).
We did a gymnastic that I got out of Jim Wofford's gymnastics bible that was a trot in one stride, with then two options from there: either a bending two stride to the right or a bending three stride to the left (okay, I think in Wofford's exercise the two stride is on the left and the three stride is on the right... sue me). The idea is that it's building on the regular straight gymnastic by requiring the rider to plan and execute the bending line. The offset final elements also meant that we could easily circle around and jump them as singles, which is good for me as I've been sort of chicken about leaving the grid and need to keep working on improving my eye and ride to single fences on longer approaches.
In general, Ky was great. He feels SO MUCH BETTER through the gymnastics now than he did a month and a half ago: forward, sharp, quick off the ground, and taking me to the jump. Check out the little dude in action (sorry for the blurriness of this first video--the next two are sharp):
After getting comfortable with the bending lines on their own, we started to add in some single fences at the end. Ky was definitely feeling a little feisty and, in the short turn around the end of the arena, I had a hard time at first in keeping my balance and not falling ahead of him. His feistiness also made him a little more squirrelly than usual, meaning that we flubbed some lead changes that we normally get easily. But look at how nicely he's jumping! Good boy:
We put the jumps up to a pretty decent size, with the oxer at around 3'3"at its biggest iteration. Interestingly, I never had any trouble with keeping Ky straight and in front of my leg in the gymnastic itself, but when it came to the single fences I struggled a little bit more with maintaining a good canter. The result was a few EPIC misses, detailed in the lovely video below:
I think what was happening was he was coming in strong, getting a little crooked, and then sucking back right at the last second, and I was just sort of sitting passive and not putting my leg on strongly enough. I was happy though that I was able to recover within the round and jump the last two jumps well, and man: when this horse jumps well, he feels SO AWESOME. But we definitely still have some more work to do before we're ready to tackle full courses at height!
(Good job rooftop poneh!!)