Turning off the xc skills for show jumping
The last few weeks, I've been taking lessons from a friend who is a very good and well regarded h/j/eq trainer. When I started regularly with her, I told her I wanted her to treat me like a kid getting ready for the medal finals (a stretch, I know, considering I'm twice the age of a lot of them about about 6 inches too short!), as I found, after watching round after round after round of various Big Eq finals this fall, that a prelim show jumping round could and should ride very similarly to an Eq round.
So, basically, my ass has been KICKED. While we do focus a lot of position, it is also A LOT of making my aids very smooth, effective, and as minimal as possible. This has been great for Toby and I, and, when my brain is kicked into gear (which it was not yesterday), it is really helping me. Ultimately, Toby should become far more broke and rideable, and, hopefully, the rails should stay up and I will, hopefully, stop panicking in sj (along with the help from the sports psychologist, that is!).
But, we have a running joke that I get through some exercises occasionally on my xc skills (Toby, too) rather than be a smooth, effective Eq rider. We were talking yesterday more about those instances, and agreed that a lot of event riders (I'm not her only one) tend to just "get it done." Crude but effective, as my longtime coach would say.
I do notice, at all levels, that we event riders have a tendency to ride show jumping like xc. So, how to we to turn that mode OFF? Generally, it isn't terribly helpful, especially as the fences get bigger and the courses more technical. And, at the lower levels, it can be gasp inspiring. Anyone have any tips on how to think like a show jumper/hunter rider/Eq rider in our show jumping phase versus the do or die, come hell or high water, get 'er done xc riders we love to be?