I'm not even going to critique as I'm a beginner, but my trainer (who is an eventer and well known in my area and not only) made me jump with no reins spread hands (like in a video), one leg in stirrup, and no stirrups at all. Just like that: over and over till it goes smoothly. I also was asked to jump with closed eyes to feel and follow the horse. I think all those exercises definitely help to find you balance (or you are in trouble lol!).
I do think you both look very nice BTW! I wish my paint could do XC as well as you do! :)
Thanks, KV and Gypsy! I think I'll saddle Lenox up English and hop over some crossrails without reins. She has a really steady, even canter and is brave to the fences, so I won't have to worry about runouts without the reins.
Okay, really stupid question here. I'm aiming for our first mini trial August 25th on our pony club grounds, and am just going to do Starter to get his feet wet. Someone told me the Starter test is just Intro C....is that correct? Would hate to show up having memorized the wrong test!
Is it this one? Can't find any USEA intro tests, only the USDF.
Thought I'd add a picture of the last fence on our Hunter Pace today. We had to go hilltoppers to stay with the younger kids, but it was still a lot of fun and gave me a good gauge of where his fitness level is--too high! After trotting and cantering miles and 40 BN and Novice jumping efforts, his chest and shoulders were sweating but he was breathing normal and a little warm at best.
I got a chuckle out of how bold he was to the bright purple coops, benches topped with straw, and novice-level triple bars made of telephone poles, but this little red coop completely flabbergasted him. We jumped it practically from a standstill.
On another note, I started the ride using a crest release, getting the hang of keeping contact with his mouth, and switched to a bit of an auto release in the latter half. I could definitely feel how to follow his mouth through the jump and don't remember losing contact over the fence at all during the course.
You can see how tired and sweaty he looks....NOT....lol.