Event saddle - check
Full cheek slow twist bridle - check
Helmet - check
Half Chaps - check
Horse - check
Headed to the arena, camcorder on the charge. Friend and appointed babysitter-de-jour showed up a little while later, Ransom running around the arena flipping wild! See, Momma gave the whip a little action as the big fella was refusing to canter in warmups. One SNAP! and he decided running like a wild racehorse was in order. Goober!
Hopped on, got my event-saddle bearings. Realized quickly that Ransom was about the same steady fella he always is. Walk, trot, a little canter. Tried cantering a bit all the way 'round the arena, light two point seat. A secure canter two point, but more side-to-side motion rather than the forward/back rock from my dressage seat. Pretty cool... neat I was able to recognize the difference.
I trotted a lap around the arena, pointed at the low crossrail I'd set up,
took a deep breath
looked up & over
tuck the hiney
As we landed, I squealed in pure delight. Ransom jumps! He doesn't step over, not even that low. He doesn't just barely clear, either - he really jumps! I hopped off and watched the video clip my girlfriend was taking. She pointed out my shoulders were super-caved in. I realized why I was doing it - hands resting on his withers, I was letting my shoulders sink towards him.
Tried it again, and again, and again. Each time, it was auto-pilot. Point him at the fence, and stay in the middle. I tried to concentrate on staying out of his mouth over the rail, and have open shoulders. This will take much more practice. I also discovered about half way through the ride my knees weren't anywhere near the rollpads on my saddle - need to raise the stirrups up a hole or two. Added to the list for the next ride. We hopped over about a half dozen times in total.
Each jump, it felt like he started out a serious ways in front of the fence. He'll pause for a split second, his toosh sinks a little, and he pushes over the rail. He doesn't stretch up over or reach for it, he pushes up & over. Very Very cool! First few, he landed in the wrong lead, which I realized, but I didn't put much effort into fixing it. Last few, he landed in the correct lead, and I'd let him canter a circle or so before asking for trot again. Each fence was trot to, canter from.
Completely phenominal. I do wish my camcorder would transfer to the board - I'd glady share. Ya'll could certainly critique, and I know what everyone would find - get those heels down, open up my shoulders, and smile (!). So it wasn't beautiful, but we've got to start somewhere.
Ransom over Rails
Event saddle - check