Thursday, May 10, 2018

Curtis Barbour clinic recap

Last Saturday I held our annual event clinic with Curtis Barbour. This is the third year running it, and it's always such a fun day with great people and lots of learning. It was busy this year with 18 riders from grasshopper to prelim.

I rode Zippy in the pre-entry group. He is such a brave horse, but we still have issues with steering and staying straight. Curtis teaches a lot about keeping the horse very straight between two hands and two reins, and riding off your outside aids to turn the shoulder. We always start by riding square turns, keeping the horse straight and not allowing much inside bend. Zippy is decently good at this on the flat, but once jumps come into play, he gets a bit excited and things kind of go out the window. None the less, he tries very hard. He was really 'up' for the first half hour or so of our lesson. I think he was a bit overwhelmed with all the horses, plus our lesson had started about 20 min late, meaning he had been walking on a loose rein for 20 min. In his mind, I swear he was thinking, um, why are we working? I'm done now.

So excited. Must canter sideways.
We worked through a course of both stadium and xc type jumps. It started with a x rail with 10ft placing poles on either side, left bending line to a vertical, turn right to a 2 stride, another right turn to a corner, bending line to coops, left turn to a coffin. This was only Zippy's second jump school this year, and he really worked his ass off, doing more then I've ever asked of him. Curtis reminded me to really sit up, which is always a bad habit of mine, and to stop trying to help Zippy so much to the perfect take off spot. After Zippy settled, he put in a couple really nice rounds. This horse has such a nice jump, he really has springs in his ass! I'm really looking forward to getting him out to some events this year, but we have lots to work on before then.

I rode Lily next in a semi-private. We did mostly the same course, jumps a bit higher. Again, Curtis drilled me to sit up. I felt like I was riding on her ass, but when I sit up and stay there, things go sooo much better. Amazing how riding properly makes things easier. Duh. Lily was jumping me out of the tack, as normal. She has such a powerful hind end and her front end is finally catching up to her. She only knocked one fence all day. I really have to try and give her a nice release to let her use her back. She was so quiet and so wonderful all day, that I could really work on perfecting our rounds and my position. I didn't get any media from her aside from a few videos.

One of my biggest goals this year is to SIT UP and keep my damn shoulders back. I feel like it's working, I actively remind myself throughout my rides to sit up and bring my shoulders back. 

First show of the year is this Sunday, a jumper show in Kingston. I'll be taking Zippy in the .75m, as well as riding Ozzie, a boarder's horse, in the .60m, and Michaela is taking Cross in the .75m. The weather looks great and I'm pumped to get out there!

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