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Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Showjumping Training Update - 26.01.19

Last weekend, three weeks after we had a supersonic showjumping training session to kick start 2019, we headed back to Will2Win to take our next step forward in our showjumping training. I was really looking forward to it, not only because we hadn’t jumped for a few weeks, but to prove that the the hard work and ways of riding since our last session was paying off.

The sessions didn't disappoint.

Usually, after a couple of weeks away from jumps Louie is a bit green, a bit spooky & tends to use it all as a bit of an excuse. But instantly adopting the more "in charge" role, Louie just did everything asked of him. The banners from last time, which even though he got over last time would previously have been spooky, he checked out, slowed down but carried on.

I've been working A LOT on my flatwork since our competition at Alnwick Ford earlier in the month, so Philippa set out two poles on four strides to make sure we had the showjumping canter and bring a bit more energy up into it. I was conscious all the time to keep a shorter contact and keep Louie busy, but I soon learnt I'd been making a mistake at home...

When Louie was coming above the bit or pushing forward out of the bridle, I'd been trying to keep him soft and busy BEFORE putting my leg on. I know, such a basic mistake to make right!? It became obvious on our first approach to the purple where I became so distracted I almost lost my line to it, and the second time tried to keep him busy in the contact that I lost my power resulting in a bit of non-energetic jump. But the third time, after Philippa explained where I was going wrong was a big improvement - a much better line to the fence and arriving with power & bounce.

I've always found it more difficult to ride right rein corners, and I think it's caused by my VERY bad habit of pushing more weight down my inside stirrup and being so right side dominant. I have to remember to keep Louie straight and put more weight down my outside seat bone that I currently do. As such, we got a very dodgey turn to the orange oxer first time, ended up a bit close and landing short, so I kicked on to get my four strides to the yellow where I still managed to muck it up, but Louie just went. I saw his front hooves reach up somewhere by his chin and thought WOW I really messed that one up...!

Anyway, one thing it did highlight, is that when I say we're going no matter what, Louie is starting to say OK! A much improved confidence from him compared to just a few months ago...

Philippa created a quick course for us to jump around, which we did nicely. As we'd worked on all of the fences except the one stride double, and Louie (& I) had done a great job, we stopped there.

I'll be back in a few weeks for our next training session all being well, and hope to be able to hire a couple of local venues either on a weekend or during the week to start to jump around courses in different places. All while using this new style... Trust me, it works a dream and has really given me almost instant confidence to forget all of our mishaps over the years!

Stay tuned for our next update in a few weeks time!


  1. Super work! Sounds like you're learning so much! xx

    1. Everyday I try to learn and/or make a realisation. We've learnt so much in the last two sessions, including learning how to find a level of confidence that we didn't know was there before! X

  2. You are really making January matter! I love it xx


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