Monday, November 10, 2014

Breakdown: The Bad

We went XC schooling again today. Most likely our last time for the year. We wanted to take advantage of the weather, nearly 60 today and the same tomorrow except rain but after that... highs of mid 30's for the rest of the forecast. Thank you very much polar vortex or whatever you are being called now! And just in case I wasn't completely convinced Loki decided to rip a shoe off today just to be sure that he would indeed get a break for the weather. Horses!

Anyways, I'm very happy with where I am as a rider and where we are, Loki and I as a team. In fact my trainer said that today was the best she has ever seen me ride and she feels like I am finally starting to learn the tools I need to be effective. Believe me that is pretty high praise and I'm definitely feeling quite giddy about it. We jumped the pheasant feeder and the trakehener again twice today and he just keeps getting better and better.

That said here are the things that I would really like to work on and improve.

#1 Releasing

While these aren't terrible and the second photo is by far one of my favorites of us they still aren't "perfect." I'm not really grabbing Loki in the mouth but I'm also not truly giving a release either. 
I really focused on that today and during the Joe Meyer clinic. You can see my much more exaggerated release on this one. Somewhere in between will be great someday but I'd much rather err on this side.

#2 Jumping ahead vs. closing my hip angles

This has gotten so much better that in a way I even hesitate to put it on the "bad" list but it is still something I'd like to improve. Why settle for less than perfection?

I was still exaggerating my release at least
It's not terrible even in this picture and I notice that it is much worse when jumping smaller fences than when we are jumping bigger but still like I said I'd like it to be better.

and finally,

#3 Consistency

Like I said I'm really happy with where we are. Of course there is room for improvement but it's nice to finally be able to look back and think woah we've come a long way!

However we do still get moments like these:
Loki's expression says it all, "what the hell, mom."
They are much less frequent and now when I look at roll of pictures from one event I actually am finding more that I like than that I don't like which is a complete switch from about a year or two ago. But yeah, these moments no bueno! I'm finding that they always happen when I see my distance wrong. I see the long spot and instead of waiting I try to jump for Loki. Yeah, that's a good way to end up on your head again!

Still, all and all I'm pretty happy. It will be nice to have this post saved for next year to see if I've made even more improvements. This is the biggest reason why I love pictures of me riding. It's such a great way to actually see what's going on, what you need to work on, what's good and how much you've improved. Somebody needs to invent a flying camera that can just follow you around and take pictures. My husband's only good for about three-five times a year! (Which I am grateful for!)

Anywho happy Monday!


  1. Completely agree on the vitalness (in my book) of photos & video - much and all as it makes me cringe. It is invaluable footage to learn from & correct bad habits.
    You guys are doing so awesome, I am so happy for you!

  2. this is a great introspection on your riding progress - and awesome pics! glad you had such a positive schooling to cap off the season. as someone who's just starting to event, it's helpful to see how riders need to continue developing these skills as they go up the levels

    1. Thanks! It's true, we are always working on something no matter how far we get there is always someplace else to get to.

  3. You guys are doing great! As far as are just getting slightly left behind - which is my problem too - I find riding in more of a two point - or jumper style seat helps with this. Maybe that would help you too...just thought I would mention it!

    1. That's a good observation. I will have to write something down about that at some point. Thanks!

  4. I find photos so helpful! I agree- it'll be great to look back on this in a year and mark your progress!

  5. Everyone has awkward moments. I love looking at the good ones! :-)

  6. I think if you have a lower leg like the one you developed, occasional moments like those are NBD. If you're me and you just want to pick yourself up by the shoulders and deposit you 6 inches behind where you are in every picture, that's a problem! I think you guys look good!

  7. I am the worst at planting my hands right at the withers and thinking I'm releasing.... I need to improve that as well. I really think it starts in your leg, though. My release get so much better when I consistently do 2 point work etc. But you and Loki are looking really great. That big jump is just WOO.