In Case You Don’t Know What’s Up…
I held a jumping clinic for a few of my students a couple of weeks ago. It was great because it was a small group of girls, so we really got to cover a lot and they all soaked it up like sponges!
First, I taught them how to set up a simple grid. Then they warmed up and jumped the grid they built. Next, since one thing they all need work on is getting their correct leads after jumps/ lead changes for those horses who can so we worked on that. In the last portion, they designed their own simple course. Then, they switched so all three girls jumped the course on all three horses in the clinic which I think was a great experience. The girls had fun with it too!
Maggi’s Ride Over The Course On Marley
A Little About Marley
So before I begin critiquing the specifics of this ride, I will give you some background on Marley. Of the three horses in the clinic, he is the most experienced. Though, the fact that he is a lesson horse makes him a bit less sensitive. Also, a lot of the time he is sort of in his own little world not paying attention. This is a self-preservation tactic that you can’t blame him for after years of being in a lesson program.
Her opening circle was a good start. Not only did she get him into a canter, but he also looked in front of her leg…like he was taking her to the first jump instead of her having to push, push, push to it!
She had that nice pace going into the first line. If you listen to my commentary you can hear me reminding her about steering. Referring to Tic Toc the horse she started the clinic on and how he was a different ride than Marley in terms of steering. When you see her ride on Tic Toc that comment will make more sense.
The first jump in the line was a nice start. On the second jump, she looked a bit left behind. Which caused an awkward moment on the landing where Marley was dropping his shoulder and on the wrong lead.
Maggi just had the corner by the barn, and the short side to get him sorted out and focused to head to the jump on the diagonal. The jump on the diagonal( I was emphasizing this jump because I wanted the girls to focus on asking the horse to land on the correct lead) was fabulous. I loved how she rode softly to it. That she cued him appropriately to get the left lead and they landed balanced and moving forward into the corner.
Canter To The Last Line
Maggi took advantage of the nice long canter to the final line. I could see her working to get him straight, and balanced with his haunches underneath himself and front end up and light.
With that great canter, she established beforehand, the final line was really nice. I loved how her body was soft and just naturally followed his motion as his body moved over the jump. She really made it look effortless! Her lower leg position is very solid at the girth which is securing her position on the flat and over the jumps. Especially, on the landing of the jumps.
I really thought it was a great ride overall! Maggi is a really great, soft rider with a good feel of the horse. The main things she needs to work on, and I think she will agree with this is keeping her upper body up taller. She tends to ride with her hips pinched down which makes her lean forward. This has also been exaggerated by riding Tic Toc a lot recently, who always wants to be on the forehand. Causing the rider to constantly be pulled forward and have to work harder to stay sitting up with shoulders above hips and heels.
She also needs to work on her release over the jumps. All these girls are good enough and have independent seat and hands. It is time for them to graduate from a crest release to an automatic release. This is a fairly new concept to them and I think with that in mind they are doing well in trying to figure it out.
Two More Rides To Analyze!
As I mentioned before, the girls switched horses and jumped the course. So we still get to check out Maggi’s rounds with Ruby and Tic Toc( who is the horse she rides the majority of the time).
There is a lot left for us to learn from our little jumping clinic, even a few weeks after the fact! Stay tuned!!!!