Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Combinations

Zeus has been jumping beautifully as of late.

He hasn't jumped over anything terribly high - mostly crossrails and low vertical fences - but he shows real promise and appears to see the jump ahead of him and almost get a lightness to his step, as he looks forward to sailing through the air. He likes to be challenged, and bores easily when he gets the hang of something.

So today began the first challenge. A combination fence. What that consists of, is two or more fences, a certain number of canter strides apart. Logic (or self preservation) dictates that you begin with a nice, large gap between the two jumps, giving the horse lots of time to see and prepare for the second jump.

Our ring is large, but considering the large stride Zeus has, I knew I had somewhat limited space. I ended up constructing an inviting 4 stride combination - two jumps with four strides in between them.

After a decent warm-up, we approached the combination. He saw the first fence, happily hopped over it, and the four strides in between were a bit like riding a drunken sailor. We weaved, we wobbled, bobbled and finally straightened out as Zeus realized, "Hey! There's another jump right in front of us!" He jumped it cleanly, a bit baffled as to how that second jump appeared before his eyes.

During the second and third sessions, he clearly got the hang of it and jumped beautifully.


A second view:


Next step: bringing the jumps closer together. A three stride combination is next, since he mastered this so quickly. And perhaps, higher jumps not long after that!

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Wow, Zeus sure is a beauty! What a great jumper :-)