‘Extreme dressage’ and jumping from walk

Despite the crazy winds and horizontal rain on Sunday I took Soap to some local dressage at Larkhill. Most of our warm up was done with both of us overbent trying to shelter from the weather! Soap did a very sweet test, and I noticed a huge improvement in the rhythm and balance of his canter as a result of all the SJ training we have been doing. His halt and centre lines weren’t straight as he just wanted to swing his quarters into the wind and his free rein walk was pretty nonexistent as he just tucked his head in and tried to hide between his front legs from the rain! Who knew dressage was an extreme sport?! He got a very respectable 64% with lots of 7’s and a couple of 5’s for weather induced wonkiness! Another calm consistent test in awkward conditions so I was pleased.

Jumping from walk…
A while ago it was suggested to me by a H&H forum member that teaching Soap to jump from walk may be beneficial, so last night I gave it a bash. I had a handy helper to put the poles up for me and got to about 80/90cms with Soap really thinking about propelling himself over the fence from a nice forwards walk. A few times he got a little baffled and knocked it down but then he twigged and really made an effort to clear it, producing some lovely basculing jumps. To finish I asked my ‘glamorous assistant’ to keep putting the fence up and jumped it from canter, working on counting my rhythm, and waiting for the jump to come to me. We finished over 1.05m beautifully, round and athletic, so I was really pleased with him :) I think ‘jumping from walk’ is a very useful exercise for Soap it makes him think and assess his fences rather than use speed to clear it so I will definitely be using it again in the future

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