|How 'bout you learn how to let me be wild and free like the studly EuroPony I am?|
I've learned some things about our canter during my recent jumping sessions with Dino.
Dino gets to a point where he "kicks into gear" when jumping - he takes the initiative to go forward and there is a feeling of increased speed and of him pulling me to the jumps, instead of me placing him at a particular distance.
In my brain, sometimes this can feel "too fast" and out of control. Which, to my little control-freak-brain, can be a bit scary!
In reality, it's not "too fast" at all, it's the perfect speed, and the speed at which the fences come up out of stride and Dino is enjoying himself and really into his job. It's the speed at which I don't have to micro-manage the canter. There's really no such thing as "too fast" with this pony.
So I've been trying to settle into riding him "at speed" when we jump, to hang out and enjoy the ride when he kicks into gear and pulls me towards the fences instead of succumbing to the temptation to haul on the reins and slow him down.
|CAN WE GO TO THERE?|
And it was one of the most perfect cross-country jumps we've ever jumped. There wasn't a big "setting up" for the fence, the jump just fell right into our rhythm. I thought to myself - that's what all our XC runs need to feel like - smoothly jumping obstacles At Speed.
WonderPony did it again at the jumper show, really locking on and taking me to the fences several times. And several times I had to actively resist the urge to pull him back! But when I let him do his thing and just stayed light in the tack, and balanced him with my body, every jump came up perfectly. When I had to put in more effort to manufacture the canter, or tried actively to place Dino in a certain spot, it definitely didn't feel as smooth.
I'm also continuing to learn that balancing Dino before a fence is still a FORWARD action - our speed shouldn't change, but he should lift his shoulders and be ready to launch.
It's my goal to have bold and speedy courses at Burgundy this weekend!