Monday, June 25, 2012

Catching up.

I have three fascintating days of updates to fill all of you in on. Alright, I can't promise they'll be all that fascinating, but at least I have some pictures and videos to share.


Hubby fufilled his weekend duties as camera man and jump crew. We set up an oxer down the middle of the arena with a ground pole on take off and landing, then set the remaining pole as a placement pole in front of the gate. Nothing exciting, but all I wanted to work on was getting Bobby going at a good pace and taking off from a good distance.

who thinks i need to change my xcountry colors to purple and white?
i do!
I didn't ask for anything fancy warming him up, but I did insist that he go faster than an eighty year old plow horse. Once I found a good pace--confirmed by Hubby since I'm pretty useless at judging such things--I kept a loose rein and stayed out of Bobby's way. And what did he do? Kept on trucking along! Yay, fast pony!

tah dah! a real canter!
I started off jumping him over the gate. It took several run-throughs before I figured out a good pace for him and he figured out that his feet were indeed in the right spot to jump as soon as he got over the pole.

baby horsie! you look all grown up!
Next up was the oxer line. We've done pretty much zero work on oxers at home since I can't stand jumping in the indoor and with jumps split between the two arenas, there's not a lot to work with. So instead of making the oxer low and wide, I just made it low for now--2'. He wasn't too sure what to do with himself the first couple of times through, but he figured it out really quickly.

"say whaa??" first time through.
"oh, i got this!"

See how fast we were going? It was a real canter! Yay!

To keep things short and sweet since they were going so well, I made up a quick course with the whopping four jumps. The first time through was actually really nice, so of course Hubby got pictures of that and video of the second time through which was not as nice.


Hubby and I went on an hour and a half trail ride. Hubby took Dollar who was more than happy to get out and explore after being used in camp all week.

Forutnately for us, both Dollar and Bobby are legitimate bomb proof trail ponies. Hubby and I were peering into the xcountry field to check on one of the fences as Dollar and Bobby nibbled on grass. Out of nowhere, a turkey (probably the stupidest animals on earth) flew right up at Bobby's head before running into the hedgerow. Bobby didn't even flinch. "Turkey? Whatevs. I've got grass." We scared up several fawns (pretty much a given now), and on our way home a ton of half-grown baby turkeys flew up out of the tall grass and scattered. Dollar took a step sideways before going back to plodding along and Bobby planted his feet to look at them before continuing to march down the hill.

Bobby also had no problems going exactly where I asked the whole time. The trail I chose is completely grown up with chest high weeds and never once did either horse question my sanity. They both walked right under two tangled trees whose branches rubbed my back even with me laying flat on Bobby's neck and then headed right into the water and across the road. Such good pony faces.

bobby was chewing on his cud before i got off to yank the nasty
stuff out of his mouth.

With a dressage show this Sunday (!!), I figured I'd probably better get back to work on the flat. Stretchy trot, let's do war. Again.

Bobby was awesomely forward warming up at the trot. He was equally as forward at the canter, but it led to him being unbalanced so I had to work on bringing him back a smidge. We did a lot of canter work for the first half of our ride. Cantering is definitely his weakness and I tend to just brush it aside because it's such hard work for both of us. Well, no more! We cantered circles, we cantered laps, and we cantered down the quarterlines about five thousand times until he could do it in a straight line each direction.

Needless to say, after that he was like, "Yeahhh we're cantering!" And then he didn't want to do anything else. So we did canter some more, working on canter to walk transitions to try to get it through his Thoroughbred head that cantering can end in going slow. That didn't work so well and the last half of the ride was trying to defuse the canter bomb. I ran him through Training 2 by trotting through all the canter spots, then went to work on the dreaded stretchy trot.

I'd already been on for forty-five minutes, but I was not ending without him stretching down at the trot, even if it took another hour. We walked a 20m circle at A over and over and over and over.....and over, stretching down and collecting up until I felt like he got the idea. I asked him to trot and when we got to A I asked him to stretch down. He took off into the canter. I gave him a very sharp, not very nice reprimand and walked the circle two more times before trying again. Stretchy trot? Is that you? For two whole strides? Fine! We're done! It only took twenty more minutes (which is a long time to walk in circles, trust me.), but I got it and jumped right off. Hopefully that will stick with him for bext time.

I have all sorts of awful hoof news to share, but that can wait until tomorrow.


  1. The placing poles really seem to be helping! He looks much better. You're a very forgiving rider, until he figures out what to do with his body, you're doing everything just fine (I think!) -- and YES! Purple for XC!

  2. Awful hoof news? Uh oh. Good luck at your show!

  3. LOVE the picture of him going over the gate! He looks so pro!
    Your pace looks fantastic, really gorgeous canter.

  4. I agree with the purple. I used purple and black on our bay gelding.
    He is looking great with his new pace :)

  5. Purple is great :)!! You guys look awesome. Love that pic of the gate too.

  6. Your tempo looks great - nice jumping :) Have fun at the show!

  7. Love the purple! I have the same saddle pad I think.


If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.