Automatic Releases Make Me Happy

I’m just going to skip to the fun part here: warm up was solid, we jumped individually all of the fences, and here is our first round:

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 8.09.51 AM.png

Very huntery and flowy. 1 away, 2 and 3 in 3 strides, outside single 4, oxer 5, and down the outside in 3 strides.

I tried to make it huntery with Gracie today but she’s just been in jumper mode with show season so let’s just say it definitely wouldn’t have won us any ribbons haha

Overall this was easy, but I noticed I’m starting to have trouble keeping my heel under my hip, which is leading to all my issues in corners when my heel starts to creep up on me. I thought of maybe standing/ going in 2 point for the next course, but then our instructor threw this at me:
Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 8.08.40 AM.png

Definitely not huntery, so had to use my seat more.

1 home over the oxer, trot fence 2, left to the plank fence 3, rollback to the wall at 4, broken line to 5 in 6 strides, outside 6 single, inside turn to 7, down the diagonal 8 and 9 in 3 strides.

Honestly we did better this time, and knowing I was going to have to do an inside turn to 7, I figured this was a good opportunity to practice my automatic release instead of going around the course standing.

Sometimes I do have good ideas. This forced my heel to stay down in the corners, and I couldn’t possibly swing my leg out after the fence, which I’ve been on a kick with (pun intended). Of course it saved my ass for the inside turn to 7 too, which I think really helped me prove that it’s not me sitting in the saddle and swinging my leg forward that is making my heel swing up (though that’s certainly not helping), but rather taking my leg off, which I cannot do in a turn that tight.

In short, I think I’m going to ride in 2 point a lot more on the flat and set up small cross rails on my homework rides to practice my automatic release. I tend to forget to do it (silly old Virginia hunter habits), and depending on the crest release in a jumper ride just isn’t working for me.

Anyone else working on the automatic release? Any tips other than just doing it on how I can practice?

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4 comments

  1. A good tip my first trainer taught me is to do a driving rein – so basically you can hold your hand the same, but the rein goes into your fingers at the top and comes out the bottom. It softens your hand and makes it a little easier to adopt to the auto release – though it is weird the first couple times!

    Liked by 1 person

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