Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gambler's Choice Lesson

Last week I had my regular bi-weekly lesson with my friend L. We started out with our usual warm up flat work. Satin was a bit stiff and a little sluggish at the trot (which is typical, she hates trotting). We did some exercises to fix that, such as changing my seat to encourage her forward and breaking up the trot with a few strides of canter here and there to wake her up. This helped a bit then we did an exercise trotting a quarter of the way around the ring, then cantering a quarter of the way around, then trotting, etc.

After that R decided we would have a bit of a competition and instead of giving us a set course or exercise as she usually does, she said we would do some Gambler's Choice. For those of you that don't know, Gambler's Choice is a jumping competition. When done at a horse show, each jump has an assigned number of points and the riders have a designated amount of time to jump a course of their choosing and acquire as many points as possible. Usually the rule is that you can only jump each jump twice (once in each direction).

Anyway, in our version there were no points or time restraints. R said just keep jumping until you mess up (meaning you get a stop). We were allowed to jump each jump once each direction and as long as we were still trotting or cantering we were still in. She had dropped about half the jumps to a height Satin was capable of jumping. L started and got 3 jumps under her belt before getting a stop at the fourth. I did not get that far. The first jump rode beautifully and went to the second expecting a stop and I got one. It was totally my fault so on my next turn I rode more confidently and got through about 6 or 7 jumps before getting a stop when I last minute turned to a jump Satin wasn't expecting. After that, we had no issues and she jumped everything she could in every direction. We even through in a few jumper turns. R and I were both very happy my jumping position as well :)

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