I received an educational grant this year from the Midsouth Eventing and Dressage Association (MSEDA). In my application I explained that I was just learning how to event my former hunter and was also bringing along a young horse. I was awarded the grant to use for lessons to prep for the Novice move up on Marcus and to prep Frankie for starter and I was asked to document the process along the way.
The last two lessons on Marcus have focused on learning to sit. This has been one of the hardest parts of the transition to eventing. I finally have it somewhat mastered in my dressage saddle, but I have avoided it like the plague in my flat jumping saddle. My body was so used to a half seat around course that it’s been a true one way ticket on the struggle bus for me to learn how to keep my booty in the tack.
And I’m not gonna lie- I hate it. But it works.
After the last XC schooling, Julie and I talked about taking some time in my lessons to really focus on getting me to sit around course. While he’s bold and forward, Marcus has learned that he can get flat and low when I’m out of the saddle which leads to a last minute duck out at the base. Not good.
“You do a lot of things well-you are soft, you have a great eye and you keep a good rhythm around course. But sitting on course is not one of of them” Julie told me last lesson.
So we’ve been working on it and I’ve been working on it at home. It means more flating in my jump saddle, canter work without irons and jumping a single vertical at home back and forth.
Funny thing is, as hard as it is, it makes me feel like a million bucks. I can keep Marcus from getting long heavy and flat and I feel like I can jump anything put in front of us. I won’t lie-my trust in him was a bit shaken after the last XC schooling.
It has also helped my position over fences and I think with time will fix my using my knees as a pivot point and jumping ahead.
We’ll keep working on it though! I feel better already!
I think I can see a little improvement already but it will take time to train my body to make it feel natural (and to do it when I’m nervous at shows) . I’m glad my friend was able to video my lesson because I can really see how much more “up” Marcus is on his front end when I sit and get my hands up.