Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
Ah ha ha ha, Nelson's and my first jump. Ah, that one is very memorable.
Nelson is a big 16.3hh TB Gelding, built like a Draft - very powerful, very thick, very forward. His previous owner at the time still owned him when I started to ride Nelson, but she bought a much younger horse and had Nelson up for sale - so she hired to me ride him for her to keep him in shape for her so that when potential buyers came to try him out, he was at his best.
So one day I wanted to jump CC with him - oh boy. The first fence I pointed him at was just a Novice 3 log pile, no more than 2'11". We approached the fence lovely and then just at the take off point KABOOM he turned from this fun loving, gentle horse that I knew *all we did previously was dressage or aka flat work in lessons* into this powerful, forward, heavy horse.
By the time I was able to bring him back down under control - we were clear on the other side of the CC course.
So at that point, Dorothy Crowell was coming to the barn for our local PC to give a Clinic. I singed up with Nelson - and thank god for someone of her knowledge, experience and understanding - because she showed me how to fix it...but before she had any clue as to how he jumped...she had to see us jump.
She set up a 3 jump combo for our 3 rider class. We were doing Novice with her - so the fences were mixed between 2'11" and 2'9". The combo strides, I cannot quite recall what they were, something like 4 to 5? Or maybe 3 - 4? I don't remember....but Nelson took the strides in much shorter distances than required.
He took the 4 in 2, and the 5 in 3 - it was rediculous. When we approached the first fence, we were rhythmic, steady tempo, we were both locked into it - and then BAM he became that powerful horse I knew would show its' ugly face.
I was standing up in my irons trying to bring him back under me - nope...didn't work.
That was when Dorothy pulled us off to the side and worked with us for sometime while the rest of the class worked on the combination with her assistant.
Seat into Legs into Hands to Soften is what she taught me. She showed me allot on how to incorporate it, and if you give a horse something to lean into - they'll take it.
Now, because I was taught how to ride him correctly, I have an amazing horse. Many jumps came after, under control. lol.