|Frowny pony face while trying a three ring.|
|Pretty awesome views.|
Really, I think it has been a combination of different things. Her hormones are off of the chart this year. It is like she has been in a perpetual heat cycle that has not really let off. I think it makes her body a bit more uncomfortable, and her brain even more sensitive. Another issue is our lack of space. I am asking her to do harder things in a crammed area and it has overwhelmed her. The pasture is not too hard and uneven and I feel uncomfortable asking her to work out there, as her feet are still sensitive and I want to save those leggies. She is just hot to trot this year and can't seem to settle her brain down and it has been less fun than I would like it to be.
I had planned to get Bacon out to one of the schooling jumper shows this month. I took a leap and went for the spendier one that was a few hours away because it had the opportunity to school another xc course the day before. After another bummer jump school testing out bits, I wasn't sure I wanted to go. But Aimee and Lindsey encouraged me and I bit the bullet. I went without them though, so there is pretty much no photographic evidence of me riding around.
|Jump field one!|
As much as I absolutely changing bits (especially moving up a degree) I only have stamina and strength to keep pulling Bacon up and off of her forehand. She has been loving bowing up like a racehorse between fences and pulling me downwards, just like she use to go on the track. Her very strong exercise rider always had shaky arms after he got off of her, so there is no way I can keep up with her on this. Aimee lended me a few different ones to try, and I continued for our xc schooling with the happy mouth mullen mouth pelham. She is not too sure what she really thinks about this bit. I still have to rebalance her quite a bit and I am not sure she is all that much of a fan of the chain. But, it does help with bringing her back and with some breaks and forces me to try and be softer with my hands. I don't think it is still her magic bit, but we are closer.
|Some jumps in field two.|
After we arrived Saturday afternoon, we tacked up and hacked over to the jump feilds. Again, Bacon was a little wound up, but we were jumping things in a new space. Without much guidance. We trotted and cantered a few small jumps, trying to establish a good pace. She was somewhat listening, so we strung a few fences together, and I eyed the big rolltop brush jump thing. We flew over that sucker. Bacon was totally game. We then moved onto the net field with more difficult jumps. After watching a more skilled rider go through a small course, I gave it a whirl. Over a portable ditch and wall, to a novice table, back around over a bench, and then to a five stride bending line. All of it rode quite awesomely and I smiled.
|Our only photo of our ride is from a video still. A bit defensive in my position, but that fence was actually up to my boob!|
We rode through the next field, and just kept on going. The footing was super uneven, rocky, filled with holes and not nice on pony hooves or legs. We ended up in the stadium jump arena and Bacon and I strolled around at a walk with the other riders jumped. I was quite pleased with her. Not as perfect as the second day at Tulip Springs, but better than our first day there. I'll take it.
|This thing was fun to jump too!|
She was stalled right next another thoroughbred gelding, and their display of affection was disgusting. He would nicker and rest his head on her back, she would take her panties off and flash him, and he would lick her nether region. Bacon, you hussy. And, of course, she weaved and weaved and weaved and didn't touch her food too much. I tried to just not worry about her and enjoy the rest of my day. I hadn't been able to hear out of my ear though, and the pain in my legs was terrible, but I had good company. Right up the road, we stayed in an apartment in another person's barn and awaited the show jumping for tomorrow.
|I am the bestest.|
I was pleased to find my pony laying down resting when I went out to feed in the morning. When the hustle and bustle started again, she became anxious, but was totally chill for our walks. There were a million trillion riders before us in the smaller divisions, as we were some of the last riders to go that day. It was finally time to tack her up, and she seemed happy to be dressed for work, begging for cookies once she realized she could see me inside the trailer while she was tied up. She was shining and beautiful. I hopped on and went to the warm up area. Which was a tiny strip. Right next to the worst field. I tried to warm her up in the bigger space, but it was just soooo horrid. I moved her over into the little strip that was ok, popped her over the xrail and oxer and she was awesome and listening. I was excited to take on the courses for the day.
|Put your ribbies away, shiny mare.|
We paused and watched a few friends warm up, and then proceeded to walk to the ring. Except, Bacon was not feeling too great. She shuffled and would head bob as we tried to walk over the rocks. I hopped off, checked feets, noticed a tear on one of her frogs and sulked. I hand walked her up to the ring to have other friends have a look and they agreed she wasn't great. She was markedly better on the nicer surface, but still not ok. I sulked and tried to hold back tears as I took her back to the trailer. I missed so much stuff last year because of her feet and lack of funds. We are steadily creeping up on Aspen and the Karen O'Conner clinic and now I am not sure what the right steps are for her feet. The frog support pads were just what she needed when she had no frog, but now she does have one, and I am wondering if there is just too much pressure on them now. I don't necessarily want to take the pads off, because she is so sensitive, but I am not sure what the right answer is.
She didn't even seem to know anything was wrong. She thought that was our ride, and she had done great and looked proud of herself. I stuffed her with cookies, sighed and put her back with her boyfriend, and moseyed over to the arena to watch my friends go. The worst part? There were so many refusals. So many. And I know my pony wouldn't have even looked at the jumps. We should have been out there claiming some satin and attempting our first 3'3" course. The farrier is supposed to come out today (Monday) and hopefully we can come up with a decent plan. As of right now, I am feeling a little blue.