It’s been 6 years this Christmas since I bought Frenchi, and tonight I was looking over some old photos of her.. and can we just talk about how much she’s changed??
The top picture was when I had only owned her for a few months. She was still really out of shape, and was jumping extremely incorrectly. In the picture you can see that she would just use her hind to fling herself over the jump. She’d raise her front legs high enough for the jump and just push with her hind, resulting in her bolting after a lot of fences.. And if you look at my position you can see I’m leaning on my hands- a habit I got because she use to bolt and I didn’t trust her yet.
6 years, many many clinics, lessons, and shows later she looks like a veteran. She’s a strong novice eventer (going training 2015 fingers crossed). She now lifts with her shoulders and doesn’t just power through fences, instead she uses her WHOLE body to jump. She has a real jumping form- with high knees in the front and a powered hind. And I’ve improved too, I trust her a lot more so I’ve sunken in my heels more (A constant battle because my legs want to swing all the time…) and i’ve been able to close my angle a lot more and release. Yes, I need to release more in that bottom picture, but everything’s a work in progress, right? We’re now competing at recognized events, taking clinics with highly regarded trainers in the Oregon area, and she’s stronger and more focused than she’s ever been.
Overall I’m just proud of my girl and how much we’ve both grown together. Eventing season 2014, we’re coming for you! :)