Tuesday, March 27, 2012


gorgeous drive down to the park with the hounds.
Bobby had an easy but very successful and hopefully confidence building ride today. I took him up to the cross country field to do some work on hills. Not conditioning work per se, but more working on both of us feeling comfortable trotting down hills. I have an extreme phobia of going downhill at a walk on my own two feet and riding down hills has been a huge obstacle for me to overcome for this whole eventing shebang. Doing it on Red was fine because Red always knew where his feet were and he would never let us take a tumble (I swear he was part mountain goat and part Mustang), and while Bobby has been pretty confident in himself navigating tricky terrain, I still don't have that partnership with him.

We started off walking around the whole field twice--it's about eight acres so not enormous, but plenty big. Then we moved on to trotting all around. I wove in and out and did lots of loops and circles because I didn't want him being accidently pointed at any fences and then being pulled away from the to go around. It was probably more of a mind game for me than it would have been for him, but he stayed calm and happy the whole time.

We took a walk break to try to chase away four deer that were seriously amused with watching us from the other side of the fence. I literally rode right up to them yelling at them to move away, but they just perked up their ears and continued to lol to themselves. I could have reached over the fence and bopped one on the head it was that close. Fine, deer. Watch us be bad asses then!

I took a deep, calming breath and pointed Bobby at a double stacked telephone pole log jump--probably 2' at the most. Stay calm, don't change anything, don't pull back, and keep your effing leg on! And.....he jumped it and cantered off totally lah-di-dah! I praised him like he'd just gone around an entire 4* course and turned him around to do it again. Same thing--a little bigger jump this time, but no crazies. Yay!!!

I popped him over the ditch a couple times each way to end on a great note; he has zero ditch issues, thank goodness. I contimplated doing a little more, but I wanted him to realize that the cross country field doesn't mean death and doom. It can be easy and fun and rewarding if he stays calm and goes along with the game plan. Besides, tomorrow I have another private lesson and I know he's going to have to work hard for that.


  1. Hooray! I bet he enjoyed being out in the big field playing around!

  2. What an excellent lesson! As soon as the nasty, slick mud dries up around here, I plan on doing the same thing in the hills--trotting and cantering up and down. It's so hard for some reason, especially the down.


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