I had my third ever cross country lesson on Monday! I've been jumpng for a couple of years, after taking quite a long break from riding and had jumped 'natural' fences before but the riding school I'm at now is my first chance to go over a real set of XC jumps. This is important for me as one of my goals when I get my own horse is to compete in some small ODEs.
I was a bit nervous to start with, and last time had a few run outs (four at the same fence and both the touble-causing ones were the drop fences!). My instructor told me it was because I wasn't confident enough yet and not committed to the fences, which is fair enough. This time I was FAR less nervous and more confident (I think) and got better results. Me and Bradley only had one stop the whole lesson, and we got over that from a standstill.
After the other lessons we went over how to tackle specific XC jumps (steps, ditches, water etc) this time we did the whole 'mini' course the centre has, for beginner XC riders and green XC horses. We split the 15-fence course into sections of 2-4 and did them one by one.
About my jumping:
I'd like to think it's improved lately! Not long ago I had a dreadful problem with jumping ahead, which I have worked very hard to solve but it shows its face occasionally. I also tend to tense up over a jump and between fences, which often makes me draw my legs upwards and gives me a terrible tendency to lose my stirrups - but I didn't do that at all on Monday! So I think I'm improving.
Having said that, I do have chicken elbows. I'd try to use the body protector excuse, but I do it in showjumping too, where I don't wear the ****ed thing. :roll: And I think I need to roll my shoulders back, as I tend to round them - I have terrible posture in life in general...
I only ask that you stay away from criticising my feet! I have a tendon condition that means I can't put my heels down much past 90 degrees for more than a few moments and even that hurts, nor can I turn my toes in. I usually ride with sprenger system 4s, which help.
And yes, we get taught an automatic, not a crest, release here. ;)
Have at it:
Galloping up the hill, trying to practice *cough* control:
Had a bit of trouble at the roll top, when Bradley hesitated a bit at the last second and then put in an awkward jump, but we were fine:
(lol at my 'concentrating' face)
The drop fence I was dreading since I had so much trouble with it last time (I think the nervousness brought out my jumping ahead slightly):
We had a dead stop at this one, as did everyone else (it was a scary fence that day, apparantly) but got over it from a standstill:
And going down a drop (a VERY steep hill going down from this log!):
Sorry there are so many! :roll: