Exciting day! Hauled Tiki man to PWF Friday to ride with my friend Mitzi and school around solid jumps so we don't die at the show! He was FRESH! It was funny ... he hasn't felt like that in quite some time:) First thing in the morning, we 'competed' in the flat eq challenge with my girls that did Advanced Horsemanship Camp that week with me. I was expecting on of my girls to beat me ... they're all very lovely riders. They're young, they've got stamina, and they've been riding CONSISTENTLY for years ... they let their trainer (me) beat them! My young, green horse managed to be good for a sitting trot, canter to a halt, totfh, canter again, simple change to the counter lead on his BAD (right) lead, working walk, turn on the haunches (which we've never schooled), then a right lead canter to a hand gallop down the center line. He was a SUPERSTAR!!! Nailed every lead, nailed every halt, and listened very well. That was in the morning ... put him up for an hour or 2 and let him drink/eat hay, then pulled him back out to school around over fences. Let him toodle around on a loose rein to loosen up, cantered him through the cavelletti exercise (uneventfully this time;)) then warmed up jumping.
I won't lie. My heart was in my throat. The things we had to conquer today:
1. Roll Top; I HATE roll tops. They're my 'booger' jump.
2. Solid 2'3 aqueduct box with arches; this one is scary because you never know how the horse will react to seeing daylight at the bottom of the jump
3. Skinny single; we've had steering challenges to narrow obstacles
4. Solid 2'3 oxer with a big gate; I would have felt better with just the GATE, but it had an oxer pole behind it!
5. Regulation stride 2 stride; I'm still paranoid that my teeny horse won't make the step (which he does effortlessly), AND remember those steering challenges ...
6. Nice solid outside line set at around 2'6 with little gates; this one I was actually confident with
7. 2'3 solid coop; this one I was ok with as well because the front side looks like stacked logs ... but again, you never know how a horse will react to it
Soooo ... we had a lot of things to conquer today! Began with a trot over a crossrail to warmup ... I did too much, so we did it again and was better.:) My friend began, and started off with a full course of a small gate to the roll top ... that did NOT help my nerves, lol! Anywayhe strung together a whole nice course and did very well ... didn't miss a beat! Then, it was my turn. Trotted into the gate (even though it was small, it was our first gate, too!) NO PROBLEM. Circled, then trotted down to the roll top; he did sort of leap over it, and I jumped up his neck. I PERSONALLY have not jumped a horse over a roll top in 10 years or more. Came around and cantered into the outside gate line and he was perfect.
Bottom line, my boy did not LOOK at ANYTHING! He was bold, and confident, and I think there's MORE than enough jump in there for anything I will ever want to do. I won't go down the list of every single jump because the video speaks for itself. Compare to the previous video a few posts down ... BIG difference in my pony, huh?? Our only bobbles were the roll top the first time, the tall green gate bending line the first time because I neglected to close my leg, and the short bending line from the brush to the white gate because he left out a stride and I didn't help him there at all. Everything else had a nice distance and felt GREAT!
Repeated again yesterday ... wish I'd had a video then as well because he was MUCH more relaxed. Mitzi wasn't there this time, so Becca kicked my butt for me.:) We jumped MOST of the jumps again, and he didn't bobble one time. It was better because I had the confidence that he was GOING, so I was better mentally prepared to sit up and ride in BETWEEN the jumps. Sat up better, slowed him down more effectively, and felt 10 times more confident over the jumps. Our biggest issues from Friday was that our pace built throughout the course. Yesterday, I rode him INTO the lines slower, and gave a good half halt in the center to simply keep his pace at a more reasonable speed. He wasn't tearing around out of control, he simply was jumping like ... a jumper instead of a hunter! Yesterday definitely felt more hunter like. Good day, good day!
BTW, the video here at the bottom of the post is my friend so she can see it. The file is too big to e-mail or post on Facebook.