Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Show Jump Champs and other things

I headed down to Cambridge on Monday to watch day one of the Pony Club North Island Show Jump Championships. Two of my good friends from Pony Club were the seniors competing in our District Team and I also had a few other friends from other clubs around the North Island competing. Unfortunately I forgot my camera but let me tell you, there were some pretty fantastic falls. I never seen so many falls at champs in the 4 or 5 years I've been attending. Even one of the comentators said that someone might need to break out the PVA glue. One of the falls was really bad and the ambulance had to be called in. I didn't see the fall so I'm not sure what happened and I don't know how the rider is doing. One rider was almost bucked off her horse, she ended up with one foot still in the stirrup and was holding onto the mane for dear life. She was pretty much touching the ground but the whole crowd was encouraging her to get back on and with sheer will power she managed to haul herself back into the saddle and kept on with the course. The crowd went wild lol.

Unfortunately our District place 2nd to last but some of my other friends did pretty well. I think I have a pretty good chance of getting there next season. Its been my dream to get there ever since the first time I saw my friend compete there. And since Jack is such a good show jumper I think we just might make it.

Speaking of Jack, we did some dressage schooling today. I usually ride with a Martingale but since they are not allowed in the dressage phase of competitions I figured we needed to school without it. I'll tell you what, that martingale really helps keep him from hollowing out and sticking his head straight up. He is particularly bad with hollowing his back in the canter/trot transition. Its just terrible. I can get him to go round a couple of strides after but the initial transition is nasty. He also hollows when I'm doing rising trot sometimes, I'm guessing this is my fault but I don't know how to fix it. Anyone have any ideas? Can anyone give me any exercises to help him stay round in downward transitions?


JJ said...

Sounds like an exciting show!

As for keeping Jack round, I would suggest just getting him to move forward. Very, very forward. Not necessarily faster, just with lost of impulsion. The more he used his hind end, the less he will use his front and, assuming you are keeping contact, he will propel himself right into a nice frame.

Although, head up and back hollow can be a sign of discomfort. Does all his tack fit? Does he really, really hate his bit?

Also, what always works to make my horse more round and on the aids is to walk for about 7 to 8 steps then halt for 4 seconds. Repeat all the way around the arena. My horse usually ends up getting a bit bored and careless by this point so we go for a gallop round the arena with maybe a few crossrails thrown in. And then you do walk/halt the other way. And then gallop/jump!

You can also do this exercise at a trot.

Be sure you are keeping yourself in position. You can't expect him to go nicely when you are flopping around up there or making your seat bones sharp, right? I will always check myself before I do anything else when I am having trouble. And I usually end up finding the problem there :)

Katie said...

He LOVES his bit. Its a straight bar happy mouth and he is really responsive to it. He only does this hollowing thing when he is not wearing a martingale.

I have a feeling this is more my fault then anything. Thanks for the suggestions! I will def try some of them.

PS. I'm pretty skinny... its almost impossible not to have sharp seat bones haha

Pip said...

I agree with the impulsion thing but I think do LOADS of sharp transitions really helps this! Like when you ask for a transition it has to be really responsive and then like 3 strides and then another transition.... Helps them really listen to you :) Hope that helps

Paigeley said...

implulsion might help at first but it's not a long term fix, what you need to do is swish his ribcage over (also called a two hand bend) what you do is put your inside leg on right behind the girth to get him to move over, with your outside hand keep contact on the rein but follow his head so don't put your hand in one spot and keep it there, with your inside hand gently pull his nose to the outside, if your doing it right you should feel like he is filling in the outside rein (not literally but it should feel like it)and he should drop his head, start on a longer rein and gradually shorten them, it's a great exercise to do at trot but start at a walk so he can figure out what your asking, also try this lady out, she improved my riding a lot!!


good luck!! paige