Last night I had a jumping lesson at home with my other instructor. The fences stayed much lower then in my outdoor lessons but the difficulty remained. Annie was pretty excited to get out of dressage land and she showed her enthusiasm by launching herself at all the fences. The lines were set for a slower pace since we have a small indoor and I had difficulty rating Annie's pace.
We also jumped a very difficult line where we jumped three fences on an angle in a straight line. My eye wants to jump the fences right in the middle and I kept trying to adjust our trajectory after each fence which didn't work out so well. We back tracked a bit and I rode the line as groundpoles and gave me something to sight at the end of the line (mounting block) and when the fences went back up it rode much easier.
Now, for something different!
I enjoy Hunters. It's something that looks easy while being very difficult. Tonight I'm watching the USHJA International Hunter Derby finals at the Kentucky Horse park. The derby is an effort to bring hunters a little close to actual hunting. Large natural fences and the need to gallop more while looking effortless is the name of the game. It's harder then it looks. Your pace needs to remain the same and the rider needs to look like they are just along for the ride while in reality they have to control their horse's pace without looking like it.
The derby is a newer division that has had a hard time figuring out what kind of horse does best. Bold brave horses coming from the jumper world are tidy over their fences but don't look as pleasing to ride (needing a stronger grip). Traditional hunters look easier to ride but don't have enough ummph around the course. How do you maintin a faster pace, with an even take off spot, and a round jump all while making your horse look easier to ride? Factor in the large outdoor course and the derby round being under lights and you have a serious competition.
Tune in tonight or catch it on the replay to catch the action.