After our big step backwards SJ-wise at Highclere I bit the emotional and financial bullet and sent Soap to ‘SJ School’ with my trainer Rosie Moss. He stayed for 10 days during which I had 2 lessons, and he had a mane makeover! I couldn’t believe the difference I felt in him in my first lesson his canter was so much more active, and I could really feel his hind legs coming through and under the saddle. Rosie thinks he is very sensitive, and also needs even more building up to be able to sustain a SJ canter for longer. The main points from his intensive training are…
- ‘Don’t ride him like a warmblood’ leg on in last few strides means flatter NOT higher, just support with the leg
- ‘Make a plan for after the fence’ be more disciplined once over the jump and halt or do a 10m canter circle etc
- ‘Keep him soft and flexing’ keep his neck soft by flexing him to inside/outside contact, it will stop him running on
- ‘Stay close to the horse and soft’ stay closer to him over the fence and remember to soften in the strides before
- ‘Close your hand to collect’ close my hand to collect the pace but keep leg on, arms soft, don’t stiffen
Soap arrived home on Sunday giving us just 3 days before we set off for our first ever 3 day event in Milton Keynes, so as time is tight I used tonight to practise our ‘roads & tracks’ speed. I mapped some km markers around the farm using this fab site Map My Run that I also use for mapping my run routes. I set off at a brisk trot and had a canter up a hill, and we came in at 3mins 30secs for 1km which is a touch on the quick side, but I now have an idea of how fast he is, and what to aim for so roll on Thursday!