I can’t be the only one who has trouble with gridwork?

AKA gymnastics…Like this here as demonstrated by evention trainers Dom and Jimmie Schramm.

Wow, I do NOT like them. But we tackle them anyways in lessons (grudgingly sometimes, hahah). My issues are- snapping forward too much with my upper body, not knowing what to do with my hands- hold back? not enough release? Release with my upper body instead of my hands? And worrying about Oats dying halfway through the grid line and us stuck in the middle! (this actually did happen yesterday) Oh and that causes me to ‘chase’ him through the grid.

So, issues run rampant with a presumably ‘easy’ exercise. Jeeze?!

Just sit and let the horse do all the work eh? Well if I do that, I fear we’ll end up sitting in the middle of the grid!!

Always start with trot poles in a grid

Give me some single fences in a course and phew, we’re on easy street (minus my paralyzing fear of jumps sometimes, ha and my need to chase to a spot…). So how do we fix these issues?

Well, by doing a lot of them, duh. We also did some…dun dun dun..ONE-handed jumping! We have done some no-hands stuff on and off, but I don’t think I have done a lot of one-handed jumping or gymnastics.

We warmed up by cantering a circle one-handed and Oats was pretty good at it, we ran through the gymnastic one-handed (well, there were definitely a few failed attempts where I grabbed my contact back with both hands…!!! survival here!!) and then off the three-jump gymnastic, we cantered to a single tiny vertical on the long side- it rode well sometimes, long sometimes, and one short distance. The long distances really surprised me! If I am being honest, I am more comfortable with the short distances but want to encourage Oats to feel okay with ‘going with it’ for a longer one. And he is! Progress?!!!

And then gradually add in the fences

And then gradually add in the fences- photos from summer 2012

I felt like a cowboy! Yeehaw! Haha.

I really liked doing that exercise- there were definitely some ‘uglier’parts in the gymnastic, eek, but we survived, were totally fine, and accomplished the work.

Go Oats go!

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