Jump Academy #2

Another installment of Jump Academy is here! For the last 3 shows, I have been finishing up on Sunday, packing the trailer and generally trying to scoot off the grounds as quickly as I can. And I will remember that I forgot to take photos for this blog series. It takes me about a nano-second of internal negotiations to determine that I am not running back out to XC and taking photographs, even if it is the right thing to do.

Not gonna happen.

But, I do have friends in high places. I texted Suzy Elliot a few days after Aspen HT and asked her to take photos as she hacked around her farm. She did! So we finally have a blog to write about, even if the flags are down.

The jump I chose was on the Preliminary and CIC* track, fence 4 and 5 on both courses. And the reason I chose it is because they were the only jumps on course that didn’t ride the way that I thought they would. I also asked 3 other riders if the combination went according to plan for them, and they said No it didn’t. I’m sure it rode perfectly for someone, but I felt that I was immediately on Plan B as soon as I made the turn to the saw. But, I get ahead of myself, let me set the scene. In order to discuss fence 4, you need to know about the earlier fences because you will be dealing with the consequences of them.

Fence 1 was a giant box with brush max P height and width for the CIC*, fence two was a large steeplechase jump, fence 3 was another box but without brush. So, clearly the course designer (Tremaine Cooper) is setting a very clear task for us riders: Go Bold, Go Straight, Jump Big.

And then after he gets us all crazy forward and really jumping fearlessly, he gives us the IMG_7975combination of fence 4 & 5, to shake us up and hopefully remember that we know how to ride, not just kick on. In the photo you can see the wine barrels that are on the training course, we galloped past them going right to left. And made about a 15 m left turn to the saw. After the saw, weave yourself between the trees and it’s a left bending turn to the open oxer about 7 strides away.

On my course walk, I had picked out a spot on the turf where I knew I wanted to turn on to approach the saw. But I didn’t take into account just how bold my horse was feeling after a fabulous 1-3 jumps. He didn’t fight me much on the turn…. He just didn’t turn. I found myself crooked to the saw, but on a nice distance and rode him to it. But my crooked approach then put me at a bad angle to weave seamlessly between the trees. I made a little zig zag and found the oxer on a forward stride.

Turn tight on landing in order to make it between the trees.


But, I think that this related combination is really great course designing. Tremaine is asking the riders: Are you good enough to ride big and bold, and then get your horse back on his hocks, make a polite turn and jump a related distance early in the course when your horse is fresh and possibly not so eager to listen to the dressage training that it should have? There is nothing tricky about this question, but there are several boxes that you need to check off to do it successfully.

IMG_7972 IMG_7973 IMG_7974

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Other posts in this series...

  • Jump Academy #5 (May 10, 2017)
    Its a new season, and a new opportunity for me to blog about cool things that I see on the cross country course. Letty, Moxee, Viki, Lanie and me all
  • Jump Academy #4 (May 12, 2016)
    Jump Academy is a series of blogs where I contstantly forget remember to take a photo of a cross country question at an event that I am attending. The
  • Jump Academy #3 (July 10, 2015)
    I have another very cool jump to show you. This combination was on the Preliminary course at Inavale HT in Philomath Oregon. And like the previous Jum
  • Jump Academy #2 (July 3, 2015)
    Another installment of Jump Academy is here! For the last 3 shows, I have been finishing up on Sunday, packing the trailer and generally trying to sco
  • Jump Academy #1 (April 14, 2015)
    This is an introduction to a new series in my blog - Jump Academy! I will periodicallly blog about jumps that I see and ride on courses throughout the

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