Thursday, May 24, 2012

Slowing Down the Mare

Yesterday's lesson focused on slowing down the mare over the jumps after her superhero impression in our last show. First in the flat we focused on adjusting my two point to find the position that worked best for Satin and I. Once we got that straight, we took that position to the jumping. Renee had us practice one line working on making her adjustable and keeping her slow. Our goal was to trot into the line and do it in a 7. She ended up going so nice and slow and collected that we did it in an 8. Renee was happy with that though because her pace and distances were good so we did it again in an 8. Then we began working on my hands and finding the right position for them, as well as, steadying myself because I was anticipating Satin speeding up or jumping big as she tends to do at trot jumps. Well, she eventually woke up from her nice slow pace and began speeding up a few strides from the jump than getting strong down the line. Renee then had me practice trotting the first jump than halting in the middle of the line before the second jump. She wanted me to do this by adjusting my position and having her halt into the bridle, as opposed to to sitting deep and leaning back to get the halt. Well, it took quite a few times before we got a halt. Satin was a bit confused since we spent so much time teaching her not to stop and now we were asking her to. The point of this was Renee wanted me to learn the proper position to be in to slow her down when she got strong, so we took this a step further by halting instead. When we turned around to do the line towards home she got strong again. Renee was having me do a very slow jog to the line to keep her calm, but she would still try to speed up right before the jump. When I did keep her slow all the way to the jump she was calmer in the line and halted easily when asked. After a few times going towards home with no halt and not a lot of slow down, Renee hopped on to give it a try. She did some hopping up and down for her and got strong in front of the jump a few times, but of course after a few minutes Renee got her settled down. She had her trotting in, halting, and trotting out very easily. She was even able to get the halt in just a few strides in both directions, while I had only been successful in the one. When I got back on she had me trot into the line, halt, and trot out in both directions. She did so nicely and easily. Then she had me trot in and do the whole line. In the direction going away from the gate she stayed nice and slow and steady. She even did the line in a 9 it was so collected. In the other direction, however, she immediately got strong again. We ended up having to do the line in that direction a few times, and Renee decided we should work on trotting the first jump then getting the halt and would end on one of those. After a couple tries, we finally got one where she did not rush to the first jump so I was able to get a nice halt.

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