Thursday, April 19, 2012
Just a little jump school
Well, I got my wish and it rained the night before last ... sadly, it was still raining yesterday morning so I couldn't ride. Muffin has been in more than he's been out the last few days, but I decided to do my jump school today anyway because the ring was actually soft enough. Dragged the jumps out of the center of the ring to some semblance of a course; a 3 cav bounce on one long side, 2 3' verticals set 3 strides apart on the other long side, the coop on one diagonal and a 2'9 vertical on the other diagonal.
The plan had been to do a light warm up then get to jumping. That plan went to he!! in a handbasket. He was SO fresh I could barely get him to focus and settle down to warm up. He was jiggy, he was swishy, and he was tense and tight. I tried to just stay out of his way and let him play and warm up, and finally he seemed to settle in and relax a little bit. Marked through the Novice test B, which is our MayDaze dressage test. He just KNOWS when we're running through a test ( even though it's literally been over a year since we've ridden one), and he jumped around like an idiot some. Kept swapping his leads behind. ARGH! I HATE it when he does that. I did some growling at him and he did hear me.
Trotted into the coop and he jumped it perfect. Halted after and he yanked me down. Grrr ... Came again and he was still good, still halted badly. Sigh ... cantered a pole on the ground a few times and he was pretty soft. Still halted badly. Frustrated. I was very frustrated with him today. He just was wearing a stinky attitude:(
Came through the bounces and it felt horrible like it always does. I HATE bounces. I don't think he likes them any more than I do, and he just never feels soft and rhythmic. He always feels so jerky and heavy through them. Maybe if I jacked them up and set some actual verticals as bounces he'd get a little lighter with his body. Cantered through the line about 15 times. He felt like he was jumping 4' in the air. The jumps looked big to me as I set them because it's been about a month since we jumped over 2'. Luckily, from his back they looked just fine so as I cantered in I didn't hold my breath or worry. I waited patiently and he jumped in a little deep and cantered out in a 4 the first 5 times or so. I WANTED that. When I decided to do the step, he tried to kill me. I let him get away from me a little bit, so he stood off too far from the first jump, pulled the rail, took 3 HUGE strides, ate the distance to the 2nd jump, and bucked his little a$$ sky high afterwards. Thank goodness I have this bad habit of not landing in my 2-point on the back side of the jump, so I sat up tall on landing and yanked him up so fast he only had time to throw his hind legs up twice. Sigh.
Went back to the pole and trotted over it a few times. He was in such a snit that he crow hopped over the pole, so I patiently and without patting him came to the walk, then picked up a slow sitting trot over it. He trotted over very politely, so THEN I patted him. FINALLY, I felt him give up some of his 'tude. Trotted the coop again and he finally halted a little better. Put together the usual; outside bounces, inside coop, outside 3, inside vertical. He did it well; I half halted and kept him up in front of me and focused on the slow rhythm. The 3 this time was much more manageable; he landed with a full head of steam, but no bucky bucky. Finshed up by doing the line twice more with the 4; first time it was a little too deep, 2nd time was much better so we quit there.
Hotel is booked for MayDaze. Still haven't done my entry yet. I'm a little bit conflicted; I'm on a budget as usual, and even though I'll be saving money on entries, I'll be blowing it on gas to KY. Plus, if I showed Chatt Hills, I'd just come home instead of staying in a hotel. I'd say this horse trial will cost about the same if I HAD done Chatt Hills, so not too terribly horrible at the end of the day. My issue is in order to show USEA recognized N, I HAVE to be a member. To join the USEA, it's $85. If I just do BN, I have to pay a $25 non member fee. I seriously doubt I will do another horse trial this year. MAYBE. So is it worth it to pay $85 for one show? What would YOU do? I also wonder if maybe I'm just wimping out and getting nervous ...