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Back to lunge-line lessons
If you have seen my post about Tia's first (and second time) jumping under saddle than you know that the rider I have for her doesn't give a release over the jumps. Tia doesn't take well to being bumped in the mouth (rightfully) and I do not want to destroy any motivation she has for jumping, since she does love it. I have spoken to the girl about giving a larger release and she agreed that she needed to. The next time she jumped Tia (the second time Tia's jumped under saddle) the girl did not make much improvement.
Now I'm not one to quickly give up on a rider, especially if I think that they just might need help realizing how to fix their issues. So what I have decided to do is tie a ribbon in Tia's mane far enough up her neck to clearly mark where a good enough release will be. I don't think the rider actually needs her hands to balance, so I think showing her where to release will do the trick. Just in case she does need her hands to balance, I am going to use an old polo wrap around Tia's neck for the rider to use as a grab strap (Tia has a short mane, so that wont work) In the event that my plan does not work, I am prepared to suggest going back to riding on the lunge line over jumps.
If anyone has any suggestions for other exercise for this young rider that might help with her lack of a release, than please suggest away. I do not want to make her feel like she is a bad rider (because she is not at all) but I understand the importance of a release over jumps (especially on a green horse) And I also don't want to limit her to just flat work (although if there is no improvement with lunging than I will make that choice easily) She seems to be a very understanding rider when it comes time to informing her of mistakes, and I do believe she is willing to learn. So I am hopeful that with the ribbon in Tia's mane, the rider will release enough, and if not that she will be okay with lunge line lessons.
I will post later about how it goes. She is riding Tia this morning and so I will post videos of how it goes.
A stirrul strap might be better than a polo wrap to use as a neck strap. Otherwise I've got nothing to add - you plan sounds good.
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The young girl did really well today. We did not need to go to the lunge line nor did I need to put a ribbon in Tia's mane. She asked me if I could yell, "hands" to her right before the jump and so we tried this and it worked. Tia did well today, relaxed into the exercises early on and I am proud of them both. Now of course when I got to taking videos my camera was dead, so there are no pictures/videos from today but they did amazing together.
In the event that you need a little more reminder for her you can always use placing poles and have her release there. It won't be pretty, but the release should work. Good luck with your pony!
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