Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Maclay Challenge

So, over winter break, I found myself back slaving away at my mother's office to pay for my lessons and what not. My job is rather monotonous, but it is easy to multitask with it, so I set up my tablet on my desk and started watching the Maclay Finals. Of course, the entirety of the footage is about 9.5 hours long, drag breaks included. It took me about three or four days to finish the whole thing, and I must say that I am highly impressed with the challenges that the riders are faced with both on course and on the flat as well as how they handle those challenges. I wasn't surprised at all that Lillie Keenan won; her last course was flawless, absolutely flawless. Also, the commentary by Jacob Pope and that other guy, whose name escapes me, was very informative when it came to just how the judges wanted the riders to do the course (i.e. if the course says hand gallop, you had better make like Secretariat and get going).

Back to the point of this post, some part of me decided that it would benefit me to challenge myself to do some of what they were doing at the finals. Will I ever go to the Maclays? Doubtful, but there is no harm in trying something new unless that something new is illegal or harmful to oneself. Doing a two stride doesn't fit into either of those categories. As I was watching, I made a list of all the things that they were doing during both courses and the flat. The list is as follows:

• Basic walk/trot/canter
• Collect and extended trot & canter
• Counter canter
• Sitting trot
• Half pass

Jumping–Phase 1
• Bending lines
• Swedish Oxer
• 2 Stride
• Flying change & landing leads
• Hand gallop
• Triple bar
• Narrow fence
• Fan

Jumping–Phase 2
• Swedish Oxer
• Bending lines
• Trot fence (in a line)
• Moderately narrow jump
• One stride in a narrow to narrow
• One stride in a vertical to oxer
• Fan
• Counter canter

Of course, all of this will be done AFTER I reinstall Baby's whoa, get her to understand that leg doesn't always mean go, and get her more relaxed and round in her transitions. The jumping is probably going to be the hardest part, mainly because of the oxers. The course last year had a lot, and I have a long standing disagreement with oxers. I do not do spreads.

If you're interested in watching the Maclays, here is the footage that I watched of the whole thing.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you broke down all the components of the tests -- there are actually a few in there I might try myself!!


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