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Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Showjumping Training - 28.10.19

An unusual training blog update today as this one was from an arena hire without an instructor. Together with my regular showjumping trainer, Philippa McKeever, we've got a plan to get Louie & I out competing once and for all!

For anyone who knows Louie or has followed our journey, you'll be more than aware height isn't an issue. In that, I'm not saying we're capable of going out and jumping around 1.10m+ courses, or even single jumps for that matter. What has held us back is the 'stuff' underneath that top pole, whether it be a filler, a plank or something else, Louie's game until that last stride.

His reaction & my reservation (& hesitation) coming into these jumps has been to spin and go the other way. It's far easier said than done to get this out of your mind, so we haven't exactly been helping one another. It's been a frustrating journey, and if you saw our update from earlier in the year, we really started as we meant to go on, but found we got no consistency going.

At some point over the summer, I switched to do or die mode, and at the same time, so did Louie. Something clicked.

So, taking advantage of the last light, I hired Philippa's arena to train over showjumps on our own. We'd had a super positive session two weeks prior, where even after almost a month of doing nothing and it being a totally semi-new venue (we haven't been for several years), he was fabulous! Jumping spooky planks and filler that then got pushed right in.

It sounds so minor, but it gave me such a great boost of confidence that we were FINALLY finding our way!

Back to this showjumping training...

Here's the video of our final jump around a short course! Sure there's plenty to still work on but here's a list of everything that I was THRILLED with last night.

  • Looking early to the fence
  • Keeping my hands down 
  • Staying in the same rhythm around the course
  • Maintain a decent showjumping canter, and keeping power
  • Landing on the correct lead almost every time in the session (every time in the video below)
  • Louie's enthusiasm & concentration
  • Jumping planks and fillers

I sent this video to a friend saying how excited and happy I was to have just been able to jump around, which I also told her I was a little embarrassed as it seems such a small thing to the rest of the world... 

Her words of wisdom...
Celebrate the small things because they become the big things!
So here I am, sharing & celebrating with the world!

I started on a cross pole, which he didn't even wobble at, and I jumped the plank straight up with the pole on the top. Each of the jumps with fillers in, I jumped once with them at about halfway in, then Andrew pushed them in.  I need to work on keeping my leg on around my turns & to the fence, keeping my eyeline up when I think I'm on an odd stride and commit to the stride I want.


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