Saturday, August 25, 2012

Real, fun work.

he looks bay in his stall at least.

Friday was finally the return of trot sets! After loosing his shoes, a show, and having to be driven to the barn by Hubby for two weeks whom I didn't want to torture with me trotting around in circles in a field, I headed up to the xcountry field first thing in the morning. Bobby needed the hill work. He seemed to have forgotten how to trot down a hill, let alone canter. I had to use his elevator bit to its full extent a couple of times to lift his front end up from the ground. I didn't even attempt a canter down the big hill, instead trotting/halting/trotting.

ignored by the ladies.
He was uncharacteristically spooky the whole ride. Keep in mind that Bobby Spooks don't even register on a normal horse's spook meter. However, he was snorting and bending his body away from things along the fence line that have been there almost as long as I've been at the barn--a pile of old shavings, a gate in the fence, and a teeny tiny pile of footing off one of the banks. He also had a giant Bobby spook that involved snorting and taking a step sideways at a tree branch that had fallen in the path of the hill. Of course, we had walked by the same tree branch on the way up and he didn't so much as glance at it. Baby Event Horsie is ready to do some real work again.

pony on the move! the mares had a minor mare-induced freak
out that involved them calling to each other and galloping around
for no reason whatsoever.
Hubby was volunteered to volunteer for a charity for his work today so I went to the barn before lessons started to get in a jump school in the outdoor with getting in anyone's way. Without Hubby there to take pictures, I'm going to have to show you by other means. You know what that entails, right?


It's been too long....

Today was about doing more than one jump without falling apart in between. I had to give myself a small pep talk to start off: Get Bobby going forward and don't choke him back! I started off with the tiny striped vertical to the 2'3ish swedish oxer (blue line).

I felt like we were going too fast, but Bobby was taking the jumps so well I didn't touch him. Same old lesson: too fast is just right. After a couple times around, Bobby started to get strung out and I had to actually start riding again and rebalance him between the two fences without slowing him down. It wasn't the smoothest of riding, but it did the trick and we were still nailing the distances. Hallelujah!

We did the big X to the gate (red line) in a forward six with the goal of landing on his left lead. Bobby gave me a perfect flying change during our last canter set yesterday so I knew he still knew them. Frustrated OTTB riders: your horse was taught auto changes as a 2yo. Do not let them fool you. Somewhere in there is a flawless flying change! A stride out from the gate, I took a firmer hold on my left rein, sank a little deeper in my left stirrup, and on take off turned my body to the left. Bobby nailed the change every single time. I let out a "Woo hoo!" the first time.

We did the other diagnol line (green line), but it involved going from the left lead to the right so that was pretty much a given that he'd get it. I strung together a course with those six fences a couple of times and, with some fussy hands between fences to get him back together, he did pretty well. Not perfect, and plenty of room for improvement, but he's getting there. I'm getting there teaching myself to let my horse travel forward.

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