So in the picture above you can see that Connie can cramp a little behind over her fences which isn't desirable in a jumper. Generally you want them to open up behind and almost extend the back legs. Butch has a super back end.
Exhibit A- Though looking at this I'm not sure if this normal for him or more extreme, but then looking at his boots it probably has to do with them. Those boots being so long enourage action behind and because he is already naturally very free behins over a fence it taked very little to encourage him. I ride him in bandages or boots behind that don't encourage any action because when my less smooth riding when I started riding him, I wanted to do everything to encourage him to jump up and round in front and wasn't so worried about the back end. Even now he takes rails in front and not behind. He has to have good coverage behind because he stands all over and kicks himself. Being smart and all that :/
That being said Connie does sometimes have a good back end, it's definitely gotten worse probably due to me killing the back end by sitting up too soon. I never really worried too much because you can always put on boots that encourage the right action and effectively train the trail. So last week I had a bit of a session with some various types of boots on Connie. I tried weight boots first. You are allowed to use a weight boot up to 1.5kgs and sometimes the weight just encourges them to try harder behind.
That made absolutely no difference at all to her so I then went to the big guns in legal boots and tried the Dodas. The dodas are very thick and a bit inflexible and had a ridge running down both sides on the inside. They work because when the horse goes to cramp up the boots grab and ecourage them to let loose behind. These boots work on everything, but not Connie. Her canter got angrier and she wasn't happy bean but behind she did absolutely nothing different. Maybe I should have tried over a bigger fence but if it doesn't work it doesn't and if it upsets her already ordinary canter then its not worth it.
Connie was first up at Central Districts in the 1.20m class because I missed my 1.10m class on Butch. Occupational hazard when you are grooming and busy in other rings. The wind was enough that I couldn't hear what was happening over the loud speaker. Anyway, Connie was a Boss and rocked around a technical course clear and relatively quick for second place. Lots of nose kisses for her. On the Sunday we had our first ring 1 start for the season in the 1.20m championship. Once again she was super as you can see below and popped over the water like a treat.
In the jump-off she was going really really well and then me the dumbass stuffed it all up. I was coming down to the last, a big old oxer and just never saw the distance and I think I just kept putting the hand brake on more so I never created a distance either so we sort of petered out to a stop. Soo dumb because she went round and cleared it easy. Dumb ass. Still she was a star and I love her.
With Butch I jumped the 1m class after missing the 1.10m class and it's really a lot too small. He jumped really nicely for a rail in the jump-off. In my Amateur the next day I just destroyed the canter and buried him for a rail and then had a circle to recenter myself and he jumped awesome though I had another rail. My boss thinks the circling is a subconscious sobatage so then I can just ride and not worry about the result which maybe true. She promises me to humiliate me somehow if I do it again. So mean! but probaby a bit necessary.
Sometimes with Butch I feel like I plug into him and it's super easy and smooth and relaxed and other times we just sort of are on a disconnect and I struggle with my eye and get too hard in my hands and high in my elbows. His last class was the 1.10m speed class and he cantered around awesome and I was really happy with him because he was super relaxed. He was a tool at the show fell head over heels in love with Connie and ended up yarded by himself far away and he was much nicer the next day.