Analyzing the Berry

I had a work thing last week. I’m sorry! It involved three 12 hour days, but the good thing about that was, I only worked three and a half days. Then I went up to Ohio for a wedding.

Photographic proof of wedding attendance.
Photographic proof of wedding attendance.

But now that I’m back, there are things that need discussing. Before the terrible rain last week that washed out part of my arena, I was having a grand time riding Berry. I’ve even been taking lessons, although you wouldn’t know it from the following photos. I lean forward way too much, and when I watched the video, I was trying to figure out why I seem to use my arms to post. Not sure what’s going on there. Clearly I will always need more lessons.

My instructor says I can take Berry to some schooling shows this winter, so she must feel like she will be able to fix the hot mess of me and my horse. To her credit, she doesn’t cringe as I pull up her driveway, my truck’s breaks/springs/mechanical ghost squealing extremely loudly to announce my arrival (loud enough to spook some ponies that were minding their own business prior to my arrival). She seems genuinely pleased to see me, so I guess I have that going for me!

When I was going through the photos riding at home, I noticed some things about Berry. The more amusing of the two, is that she seems to stretch out long and flat as she approaches jumps, keeping her speed the same.

I suppose you'll have to trust me that this is her flattening out.
I suppose you’ll have to trust me that this is her flattening out.

I don’t know enough about jumping to know if this is normal or expected. But it’s very noticeable in the video and it makes me laugh.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I stretched this photo lengthwise! But no, it’s just stretchy Berry!

Two, is this weirdo jump, which I’m supposing is her just cantering over the jump.

She still has a leg on the ground on both sides!!
She still has a leg on the ground on both sides!!

I am pleased she’s not just crashing through the jumps anymore, she is putting in a small effort. Hopefully this will lead to bigger and better things… you know, after like two more years of lessons.

Now I need to fix the dang arena before I can ride at home anymore. The drain clogged and the rain washed out a bunch of foot right in the center. Sigh.

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  1. Tucker tries to do that too. I think it’s him being lazy. What I do to fix it is lift my hands. Not pull just lift. You want their front end up and elevated not stretched out. It’ll be easier for them to jump and give a nicer jump. Also you’ll knock less rails once the height get raised. I’m not that great at explaining things. You should definitely talk to your coach about it.

    1. Yep! You do want lift not stretch. I have the opposite problem, my horse sucks back approaching a jump at the trot and doesn’t sit down on his butt but just kinda… lives behind my leg.

      Berry cute. 😀

  2. Oh no about the arena washing out! 🙁 I would’ve shaken my fist at the sky after all the time you’ve spent on it. Berry’s jumping looks like Copper’s jumping. He knows he doesn’t have to put forth the effort to get over it, so he doesn’t. (Not that we jump often…or have in the last few years, but that was how he did when he was young. I find lessons super helpful.

    1. Berry is such a good trier, I want to do well for her.I definitely need the lessons haha. I feel like if I look back through pictures I can tell immediately if I’ve been in a lesson program or not… it doesn’t take much for me to look like Gumby on a horse.

  3. boo about the footing 🙁 also my friend’s OTTB knocked everything down and jumped like a bozo for the first few months. but as the height got up he improved. we also free-jumped him a little to help him figure out all his body parts. i’d agree with erin about the flattening thing – it’ll be easier for the horse to jump if she can compress and rock back onto her hocks rather than getting so low and heavy in front. she’ll figure it out tho!!

    1. Yeah it was crazy! Although I feel like it could have been worse, some roads were ripped apart near my house, so relatively speaking the arena weathered the storm pretty well!

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