Over the past week or so I've had a series of really good rides and a couple of not so great ones (not horrible but just not as great.) Our biggest struggle is still rushing when we jump but we've had a couple of days including today where Loki was actually somewhat soft and rideable. So I've been trying to figure out what is different on the days that we have good rides versus the days we have bad rides. I know at least some of it is just having a bad day for no tangible reason but surely there are some things that do make a difference. Here is a list of things I've noticed:
- Start with the walk. On the days we have had good rides I have started off with really pushing Loki to give me a correct walk. It's easy to be lazy at the walk, for me at least, but when I ask Loki to soften and give and reach and all that good stuff at the walk before we even do anything else I am finding that he tends to be softer at the trot and canter later and I think that is even translating to softer when we jump.
- Give the benefit of the doubt the first time. This maybe doesn't make total sense but I've found that the days we have a good jump session I start out being extra soft as we start jumping. I let Loki pick his own pace over the first fence even if it is a little fast. This is really hard for me to do sometimes because I am always expecting him to get super fast. But, when I stick to this our sessions go so much better. Today we just warmed up over a cross rail on a circle and we just stayed on the circle until we were able to keep the same rhythm through the entire circle. What a great feeling!
|Sweaty after our ride.|