I rode today and I think I finally understand how to sit back and wait for the fence, and how to allow your horse's jump to close your hip angle instead of trying to jump the jump for him. Today I made sure I waited for Dakota to go up instead of instantly springing up his neck. It made a huge difference! I was no longer out of position on the landing. I no longer ended up flat on his neck when he chipped in. I no longer had to grab back the slack in the reins after landing. Best of all, I stayed in a balanced position throughout the jump instead of jumping ahead and losing my base of support.
It feels like I've made a huge breakthrough..
I think I'm ready for an auto-release. I'm going to teach myself... today I tried one and it was pretty good. I'm going to be practicing this from now on instead of using my usual crest release. Until now, I've been releasing halfway up Dakota's neck over each jump, planting my fists in his mane.
I needed that before. I needed the support. Now I feel I've gotten so much stronger through my legs and abs and I don't need the crutch of a crest release anymore. I'm excited to learn and perfect an auto-release that will allow me to have more control throughout all parts of the jump (instead of throwing my reins away) without sacrificing my form.
Once I move to the outdoor ring (early may) I'll drag my mom out to take pictures! =)
Anyways I just wanted to share that. I feel like my hard work is finally paying off... the hours and hours of lifting weights and running after school, all the obstacles in my riding and the falls and the times I felt like I'd never get better... it's as if it's all finally coming together.
I'm not a very confident person.. people tell me that I am a "strong" rider but I've never really believed that. It doesn't take much to make me nervous, and I get down on myself a lot for every little mistake in my riding. Sometimes I feel like there's no way I can get any better, riding only once a week.
But lately I've sort of had a transformation. I have been improving all these years, and have just been too obsessed with the bad stuff that happens that I don't see what I'm capable of.
And now I'm going to end this reaaally long post. Kudos to whoever read the whole thing. XD