Yet again.... I swear... am I ever going to make progress?!?!
Had a jump lesson today. And yes, I will be the first to admit with this weather and work and my life in general right now... I haven't jumped consistently. And that is obviously not a good plan.
We started out alright. Beth had some trot poles to an X, then two strides to a vertical. We eventually upped the vertical and made it an oxer. We managed to make it decent height, and did well. Even when Beth had us come down the grid, then turn left and come back to the oxer at an angle, then go down the grid and turn right and come back to the oxer again, different angle. We did fine until it got big and then we had issues. However, once Beth pointed out that I needed to angle it, meaning jump it on a straight line on the angle as opposed to jump in on an arc, we did fine. So then we did the line a few more times and I made the comment of how jumping big jumps with grids is a great confidence booster. You almost can't get to a wrong spot. Yeah... so that meant Beth made it harder :) We took the X away and she had me jump just the oxer off a tight turn and then off a longer approach. We had plenty of issues then. I was losing Flecks shoulder. Then he was lengthening his stride each time he came up, getting longer and longer, then running under/past/over his spot and stopping. So... once I made sure to keep his shoulder and maintain a consistent stride.. we had some great jumps. And not just great by luck... great in that I could see the spot from the beginning and knew we'd get there. As opposed to not seeing it and guessing wrong. And I know.. it's not my job to see the spot.. just create the canter. But that's exactly what I did... rode the canter, which created the spot that I then saw.
So.... In my brain it's a bit of half-halting, sitting, and waiting for the spot, keeping the stride the same. Beth said it's not so much that I'm half-halting or waiting... because I'm not actually shortening him. I'm just maintaining but at this point, to maintain that stride and keep him from lengthening, I have to half halt him.
So.... hopefully I can remember all this and ride like a normal person from now on.... Instead of some flying squirrel cracked out on cotton candy.