Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Great ride after giving the boy a few days off ...

Spent this weekend with my hubby. We went kayaking for the first time Sunday and had a BLAST, so didn't go to the barn at all until today. Planned to go out yesterday but I just could NOT make myself get up at 5:15. I will tomorrow, but I'm riding Audrey and not Tiki:( So he'll have tomorrow off too, but I will ride him Thurs, Fri, and Sun. If I can borrow Janet's trailer, I will take him to PWF Friday and my friend Mitzi will school us around the jump course ... must jump all the bigger solid fences in preparation for our show soon ... :) As for today ...

Rode with a crop for the first time in about 6 months. Had my spurs on, too. He has gotten SO quiet that I had to constantly use the spurs and nag him during my lesson with Susan. Today, if he ignored my leg I gave him a firm smack behind my leg. That' worked! Only had to do it twice, lol! He got the gist of what I wanted. Repeated the exercises from my lesson the other day ... walk/trot/walk/trot/walk/trot. Worked on my body so that I didn't drop my shoulder and lean forward at all. Worked on my trot/canter transition, and it was good today, yay! Did no lead changes today since my goal was to challenge ourselves jumping. Yup, I bumped up my "big" jump. From 2'6 to 2'9. Laid out some placing poles. Set up a 1 stride to a bounce to a 1 stride with the cavellettis on the medium setting. Then set up a 2'3 square oxer off to the other side. I had my heart in my throat all the way through the flat work. I was afraid he would overjump the oxer in a big way. I was afraid we would crash the 'big' jump. I was NOT afraid of the combination. And the combo is what we had problems with! The only semblence of gymnastics I've done with him is 3 bounces on the lowest setting, and a small vertical with a pole in the front, and 2 bounce poles on landing. I just figured we'd canter right on through, no problem ... forgetting that my goofy horse REALLY is not a big fan of these cavellettis. They're narrow, old, and rickety. Anyway cantered in to warm up and he LEAPED over the first pole, then ran all over the 'X' part of the cavelletti trying to run out. Circled, tried again, repeat. UGH! Circled, trotted in, jumped the first then stopped flat out at the 2nd. Finally just WALKED through the combo. Then trotted in and he did it right. Did it about 3 more times, and by the time I quit that, he was sort of over it. I tell y'all ... for a 15.2 hand horse, he has a HUGE stride. Had the distances set at a fairly standard 18' to 9' to 18' ... should have ridden steady. Rode SHORT, lol. Finally stopped that and bit the bullet and trotted to the oxer. I was ready to GRAB mane, but he cantered the last 3 steps and jumped over perfectly. Huh? Came at it the other way and perfect. Wow. I was really, honestly suprised. No look, no stop, no bobble. Just canter up and hop over.

Now ... it was time. The 2'9. Tiki's highest jump to date and the highest I've jumped in ... 10 years or so. I debated getting off and lowering the jump 10 times. My heart was beating so loudly, I was sure he could hear it. "Just find a distance to the pole, just find a distance to the pole". So, I looked for a distance to the pole ... found it ... and we were up and over! I patted his neck and praised him loudly. Reversed, looked for a distance to the pole ... another perfect jump! The best part; it felt exactly the same as the 2'6 jump. He was willing, he was forward, and showed NO signs being scared about the height. Decided to try ONE more time, and leg go of his mouth completely in the air ... I jump with an automatic release, following his mouth in the air. I usually can't crest release with a loopy rein unless I come in in my 2-point holding mane. So, decided to come in ONE more time, and make an effort to really just RELEASE. Well, I did, and he hit the pole. So I came to the decision of "why fix it if it ain't broke?" SO happy, great day! He will enjoy tomorrow off, then hopefully I'll get to school him around PWF Friday.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a great ride! i always find the same thing with me and my horse. I am the one concerned with taking that pole up a hole, and she never seems to care or notice. Glad things are going so well!