Evening SJ lesson with Rosie Moss

To tidy up our SJing I am having lessons with SJer Rosie Moss and last night was our 3rd lesson. Bit wise we took out his Happy Mouth Pelham and tried Soap in a KK Ultra Universal, which is a very pricey bit! I had brought along a whole selection of other bits but typically Soap went best in the expensive one! Even though he is fit and well muscled for fast work and finds XC a breeze he lacks the muscle to maintain an active canter and SJ for any length of time.

To build up this muscle I am doing the following exercises…
. Canter from walk and canter to walk transitions
. Simple one stride changes on a figure of 8
. 20m circle in canter spiralling in then back out again
. 10m canter circles in each corner of the arena
. Raised canter poles
. Lengthening and collecting the canter

We started with some of the above exercises to get the canter activated then progressed to a jump on a circle, which then built up to a little course. Rosie pointed out that the first time through the double I put on loads of leg into the fence, much more than was needed, but I didn’t prepare the corner well enough so Soap chipped in a trot stride before the first part.
When SJing I ride positively, but in all the wrong places! I need to get my bum back in the saddle after the fence, activate the canter and prepare my corner then stay quite into the fence. We finished over the course again putting all this into practise, and it was much better, with the exception of the last corner where I didn’t get the canter back quick enough, rode a bad line to the planks and Soap took a stride out, cue a surprised squeak from me! Second time through it was perfect.
This was our 2nd lesson where Soap has ‘played a tune’ on a few fences but nothing has come down, so I was really pleased. From now until Mattingley BE90 I have planned 3/4 more lessons with Rosie, a lesson with Robert Stevens this Sunday and hopefully 3/4 rounds of SJ out in competition. Alongside this I will be practising the canter exercises as often as possible to build him up, and turn him into a SJer! We will get there 🙂

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