The last couple of weeks, Chance and I have been working on a lot of trot jumps and grids. These exercises are so helpful!! Chance tends to (like many other hunters) just want to barrel around courses all strung out and sloppy. Needless to say, he has never been a huge fan of technical work. He has been trotting jumps like a champ though, and it is really helping our canter jumps. He is quieter and more focused on course.
Technical rides, and grid-work really forces horse to pay attention to what they are doing, stay focused on their rider, and really use themselves well. It helps their booties to get super strong too, which is so very important for jumping horses!
I think it helps us riders as well! I find that my jumping position is getting more solid, and that I am more aware of Chance’s body – as well as my own. I am allowing him to jump up to me, rather than just laying on his neck over the jumps. Fifteen years in the hunter ring can cause a little sloppiness! It’s funny, hunter riders are so sharp and meticulous about some things – like distances, pace, lead changes, being perfectly turned out, etc. – yet so sloppy with our eq.! Although I do not think equitation is the most important part of riding, I do think it is important for me to work on sometimes since I plan on riding in the jumper ring someday. I want to be able to adjust my style, rather only always riding like a hunter.
Hopefully we will be cantering more jumps this week, since my Fall horse should be arriving soon – then we may have to go back to flatting haha. Have a great week everyone!