April 1, 2011

Ground Poles

I am aware that Rose has been frustrated with her more demanding workload as of late, but she's working through it and beginning to accept it more and more and fighting with me less and less.  As a reward, I decided to give her a mental break and something different to think about and put down two ground poles, one on each quarter line of the arena strategically placed at "S" and "R". This placement allows us to do our circles, diagonals, etc without the poles being in the way. Also, I think it is best to start her off with one ground pole than four. In the past I've tried to ask her to do several, and it resulted in a stumbling brain exploding near-disaster on Rose's part. Granted that was last summer and she's learned a lot about balance, rhythm, and tempo since then.
Ground poles set on quarter line at S & R

Our rides started out as usual, but after the warm up, I decided to nonchalantly canter her down the quarter-line and right over the center of the poles. She saw the pole, I asked her to maintain contact, and kept her straight, and over it she went. She saw her distance, adjusted, and beautifully went over the pole at a lovely canter! She didn't hit the pole with a single hoof once! Assuming the first time might be a fluke, I tried again. Same result. So then I asked her to do a roll back to the second pole. Same result. In-fact, after a few times she started jumping the poles!


I was so excited, not only can she see a distance, go over a pole, turn tightly in a roll back maintaining a mostly balanced and uphill canter to go to a second pole, but SHE LIKES IT! All of this gets me very excited about starting her over little ex's this summer. So far my 2-year dressage to fences plan seems to be coming along as planned. I am certain that it is the dressage that has allowed her to be able to do this so well already. It seems like a simple little thing, but this was a huge moment in my book, indicating that a hunter/jumper world is indeed in our future. Don't misunderstand me though; I'm fairly certain dressage will still be on the books for a long time. Can you do dressage three days a week and jump once a week? I intend to find out! I wonder how my two-point is after not riding in my jumping saddle for 2-years? Hummm...

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

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  1. Yes, you can do that schedule.

    As for your two point, I sincerely hope it sucks as much as mine. :-p Nothing like practice, right?

  2. It's nice to know I'm in good company :)

  3. My 17 yr old is trying to help me with my two point. Kinda sad...I thought I was in pretty good riding shape until I tried!

    Enjoying you blog - just happened upon it yesterday. My Warmblood x TB mare will be 4 the end of May - purchased her as a yearling. She and I are green on green, which no one recommends - but our trainer is patient with us :)

  4. Welcome Kelly and thanks for following us. Sounds like we are on the same timeline with our baby mares! I know most people don't recommend the green + green, but I've had good experiences with it in the past, so definitely don't loose hope over it! As a young rider one of my favorite horses, and the one that taught me the most, was a large green broke 4-year old appy gelding. He taught me a lot, but mostly how to have a Velcro bum and how to gallop out a buck over a cross country field. Fun times!

  5. I am excited for Rose! I saw your comment on Gatsby's facebook page. so so so excited that she likes jumping! woohoo!



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