Here’s a video compilation of me jumping Lila in last week’s lesson with Martha Deeds. We’re jumping a bending line, which is more difficult than an ordinary (straight) line. Basically, I have to get busy immediately after the first fence to get a proper approach to the second fence.
I made quite a few mistakes in these jumps. Happily, I was pretty darn pleased with the last sequence. Still, even then, I made small versions of the errors that have been plaguing me:
(1) I lean over in the stride before the fence, rather than keeping a very, very upright posture. When I do that, I’m letting Lila drop on her forehand — such that she’s heading downhill — just before the fence. That screws up the jump in various ways, particularly if the striding doesn’t happen to be just right. This tendency to lean forward and drop Lila has been a major problem and frustration of mine for some time. Happily, in that last sequence, I only leaned forward a wee bit, which was progress compared to the earlier jumps.
Plus, the fence with the poles is an extra challenge for me, as I’m even more likely to drop Lila over such fences. (I get nervous, so I learn forward and release her head. It’s exactly the wrong thing to do!) So I’m particularly delighted to have gotten that mostly right a few times.
(2) I hunch my shoulders a bit on landing. That means that I’m not able to recover so quickly as I need to do for the second fence. I need to keep a flatter back, so that I can land ready for the next fence. I’m getting better at that, but my goal is to eliminate that hunch entirely.
Despite those problems, the news is good: I’m making progress! For example, I’m doing much better at looking up rather than down at the fence lately. Also, I love the collected canter that Martha had me ride into these fences.
Lila and I have come so far in the last year. I’m eager to see how far we can get in our next year!