Well. A week of spotty turnout has definitely affected the Tiki muffin! Wow, that's all I have to say! Groomed/tacked him up ... he was a total turd, kicking his hind legs like he thought he was a ballet dancer doing a grand battement. He was all wound up like he thought he was going somewhere. Probably not a bad assumption since Joyce had the trailer pulled up to the barn because she was taking my friend's horse to a show today.
Successfully tacked up the boy and took him up to the ring. Mounted with no difficulty and walked on a loose rein for a few laps. Shortened and picked up contact ... a squeal, tail swish, and a back humping. OK, I'm no dummy. Jumped off, tied the reins up in the throatlatch, and sent him on his way. I stood and watched with amusement as the fat little pony grunted and bucked, galloped as fast as he could, and did switchback turns worthy of a top of the line reining horse. At one point, he was galloping so fast, he almost missed a turn, and took down one of the cabinets. I waited him out, and he finally stopped to snack on a mouthfull of beautiful green grass.
Rinse and repeat. Let him walk on a loose rein for a few laps, then shortened my reins experimentally. No squeal, so swish. Score! Of course, the trot was a million miles an hour, would we expect any different? This time though, I kept my cool, kept the contact, and thought about posting my hips through my hands, which worked beautifully. Circled, reversed, and worked! I had set my course from the gymnastics I had set a few weeks back. Did my old standby of 2 outside lines and 2 inside singles. Tried to mix things up a little; removed the standards from the coop, so it was JUST the coop. The other outside line was 3 bounces, 3 strides to the cabinet jump with the poles on TOP of it in a tall crossrail. The inside singles were a post and rail, and a vertical with a diagonal "filler" pole. Go me, I set every jump I could at 3'. Actually planning to SHOW at 3' next Saturday, so guess I'd better be able to jump more than one jump set at 3' without my heart feeling like it is going to pound out of my chest.
I nearly scrapped my plans to jump. He was still feeling like he could explode any minute, and I was using the hunter bridle again ... that is NOT hardly any brakes, for sure! After the successful canter, however, I was thinking we could probably survive a few jumps. Opted to trot into the coop back and forth. The first one wasn't so good, but coming back it was better ... then better ... then flat out GOOD. I worked on the contact, maintaining the good rhythm, and not changing in front of the jump. Randomly decided to land off the coop and keep cantering the 6 strides to the 2nd jump in the line. The 6 was EASY. Kept going to the inside post and rail ... woo hoo! 3' FINALLY looks small, yay:) I think it was the fact that I jumped the HUGE training level solid jumps last time I was at Calimar, AND the massive coops on the hunter pace at the racetrack. A 3' vertical just isn't that big of deal after all that:)
I just kept on going, again and again. I made DECISIONS. If it was short, I sat and stayed back. If I saw it long, I lightened my seat and closed my leg. He got the actual striding in both outside lines with no issues. No, it wasn't huntery. He was STRONG. But the lines doing the step wasn't fast or frantic at all; it was FORWARD, but not fast. Yay!!! He was a machine. Jumped every jump clean and well, and felt like a barely contained hurricane.
I am just so safe on him. Even though we started out a bit like a bottle rocket, we ended as jumpers. I was very pleased with the work; he was SO good. Gave him an anti fungal bath because his hindquarters are shedding like no one's business, but he's not HAIRY, so I'm not sure what's going on there. As I sponged the water over him, noticed an angry red cut (about 6 inches long) on his shoulder, at the base of where his neck meets his shoulder. Must have been when he took out the cabinet jump. I washed it well, followed up with a vinegar rinse, and tossed the boy out into the area by the ring to mow some tall grass. Will ride in the dressage saddle tomorrow!:)