Friday, April 1, 2016

A Hop, Skip, and a Jump

When you are an asshole, I get to do things back to you. Especially when I am the one that feeds you.
Soooo, Bacon and I have had a few interesting jump schools. They started out a bit tense, as usual for spring time, with me hanging on the last one or two strides to the fence because some fire breathing dragon decided to take matters into her own hooves.
Birthday ride!
I can't really blame her entirely. She sees the distances a little better than I do, and knows we are coming in too slow, so instead of taking the chip, she takes her most loved long spot. And I sit there and let it happen. For shame. And I know all of this is happening because I do not have the right canter (nor can I see a distance to save my life right now) but it is hard to let go when you know your horse might take ahold of the bit and CHAAARRRGGEE because, well, jumping is exciting.
Third jump school? 
But instead, I worked more on her listening to half halts. This is the year of half halts, instead of pulling matches. She is still trying to figure out what the hell I am doing up there and why I am trying to get her back and up and listening, but she is starting to figure these out. I can use less HALT NOW HO, and finesse it a little more. On Easter, it was my birthday, so I was determined to jump. Let's just say there was a lot of WHOA HO and stopping after the jump.
A little better knees.
She really really listened and waited for me mostly when we were trotting the cross rail. But when we cantered, we came in too underpowered, and she took charge. And so our game of half halts and listening began. I told her that we were not allowed to jump the oxer until she cantered the crossrail like a decent creature. We finally got it out of her, I pointed her over the oxer a couple of times and then aimed for the single barrel in the arena. We were a bit crooked over the barrel on a few occasions (and had to maneuver around rogue goats running in front of the jump) but nailed it a final time and I called it good.
Look at that drool!
Our next jump school was excellent. She warmed up really well and was soft and responsive, so out we went into our sad dirt pasture to work over the same jumps. I waited for my horse to drag me to the crossrail, and...she didn't. Calmly she went over. And again. And again. Well damn, that's cool. I aimed her at the slightly raised oxer, and she waited for me, I gave a few quiet half halts and BAM, nice distance. I tried to recreate that same ride, and we did it again. The third time, we came in under powered again, so she grabbed that long spot, but still listened to me. I was so pleased.
So instead of having a better release, I just throw my upper body down. Hmm.
I had set up a corner in the arena, so we went there to try it out. At first, I trotted her to it, telling my babysitter Robby that we would probably tap it. We most certainly did not! I felt her withers come way up, and we sailed over the exact spot I aimed her for. I cantered around to it again, and it went perfectly. We did it one more time for funsies, and she jumped it with a little less enthusiasm, but still great. I was beaming.
Redneck corner. Like a bad ass.
We have our first show of the year on Sunday, and I am almost crapping my pants. It is just a little schooling show, where we are set to do Novice test A and jump around 2'9" and possibly 3'. I feel a little more confident that we will make it around the course in less than NASCAR speeds. Not totally sure how dressage is going to go, as she has been extra sensitive and forward and harder for me to ride this year. But, we will go out there and do our best and enjoy our time with friends. And hopefully not stain our breeches brown!


  1. Your leg is so freaking kick ass this year!

  2. Lolz at the first photo!! Happy birthday :) and good luck for Sunday.

  3. She looks so pumped to be jumping! Happy bday :)

  4. You guys will kill it! Nothing like the majestic power of a good half halt! :P

  5. Happy belated birthday!
    And Bacon looks wonderful, as always!

  6. Oh gee whiz. Blogger ate my comment. You guys look amazing! Was super fun to see in person.

  7. Oooh I love your corner!!! Def wanna try that sometime. Hope the show was a blast :)