Sunday, September 23, 2012

High as a kite

I'm baack! How many of you missed me? How many of you even noticed I was gone? Answer: None. The downside of owning a Saturn (as if there was only one) is that Saturn is no longer in business so there are very few garages around that will deal with fixing the stupid thing. My car is still sitting in the driveway, waiting for its doctor's appointment on Tuesday. The good news is that Hubby pinpointed the problem as a hole in one of the brake lines so it should be a pretty easy, cheap fix. The bad news is that I haven't had a car for the past week. So what have I been doing with all my free time? A lot of this:

reading blogs and turning into a crazy cat lady.
Because I didn't have a life before....

Hubby took me up to the barn Monday and I did a dressage school. Nothing exciting to report there. I have some video, but it's not even exciting enough to take the time to upload.

No pony for four days, but I finally got back up on Saturday. I knew Bobby would be feeling fresh-to-death after the time off so another dressage school was a no-go. BO was teaching in the outdoor and I didn't really feel like jumping up there, so we headed up to the xcounty field to blow off some steam.

apparently we cross-cantered around a bit, too.

We trotted and cantered around a bit at the top of the field before hopping over a couple of the little jumps downhill. It was a good exercise for me, especially with shortened stirrups, because I am so scared of going downhill. But Bobby was being careful, though trying to take advantage every time I loosened his reins for a second, and we jumped around up there easily. Hubby was on the phone with a customer (Yes, on a Saturday! Punk.) so no pictures of those.

pretty much like this.
Since there's not much at the top of the field that interests us anymore (!), we trotted down to the lower half where the bigger jumps are. Bobby was being a little rude, but it was just pent up energy from time off. We cantered up to the picket fence which we haven't jumped yet. Bobby was locked on, but a hind leg slipped a stride out so he jumped it a little squirrely.

i, of course, didn't help matters.
He slipped again cantering off so I pulled him away from the fenceline and tried the trakhener further into the field. He was pulling really hard coming up to it until about three strides out where he really back off. I kept my leg on and gave him a tap with my whip, but he still launched it and totally jumped me right out of the tack.

really, how i don't fall off more often...
I told Hubby we were done there. Fresh or not, Bobby is an easy, easy horse to rate and he was blowing right through me. I remembered from the spring that he gets really worked up when the footing isn't prefect and I think he was just starting to get too anxious. I gave him a pat and let him walk down to the bottom of the field where I turned him around and let him rip up the hill.

He seemed happy with that and stopped stepping into the trot or canter as soon as I picked up my reins. I sponged him off and stuffed him full of cookies before Hubby and I went to the Bloomsburg Fair for the first time. The highlight? Seeing this JRT diving for his Frisbee!

Today I took Hubby's truck up to the barn by myself as Hubby worked on some of his stuff at home. I took Robert up to the outdoor for a jump school. But before jumping, I flatted him (of course) and since he was feeling pretty fab, I went for the flying change. I let him roll across the diagnol, and as we got to the corner and I felt him start to decide what to do, I gave him a little half halt before asking for the change with a firm poke from my spur. He skipped right over and carried on like it was NBD. Helloooo, where has this been?! I gave him lots of pats and moved on to the jumps.

Someone had moved most of the jumps around so I had new jumps to play over. Bonus. Today's arena set up:

We warmed up over the X, gate, and 3' green vertical. Bobby was super springy and flowy and I had a really nice time just cantering up to the jumps and enjoying the ride for once. I had walked and trotted him over the striped ground poles during warm up, but something about the stripes is rather offensive according to Bobby, so when I cantered him over them he leapt over them with his head between his knees to make sure they weren't going to jump up and eat him. He then landed about four feet further to the left than we came in, so I cantered off as if we had been doing a circle.

After a couple times through, he seemed satisfied he was safe to just canter over and we carried on to the low, wide oxer. Bobby gave a little grunt taking off the first time as he got a look at how wide it was, but he was still calm and forward to it without any wild take-off spots.

We finished with the 2'6 to 3' line. He was super good through that, only tapping the rail of the 3'. I looked behind me as we landed and it was still up, but as we rounded the corner I heard the thunk as it rolled to the ground. I set it back up and we ran through it again to finish there.

He really only had a problem with the gate once or twice. Other than that, he was a beasting pony face. I wish I could reproduce these rides at shows! I'm so relaxed and thinking and enjoying myself instead of having an inner spaz attack and letting Bobby get faster and faster and more and more strung out as I hold on for dear life and try to remember the course without puking.

lean, mean eventing machine.
i'm actually pretty pleased with how he's looking. nothing is ever
going to help his skinny brontosaurus neck.
 Since he was still trying to see what he could get away with--though today he responded instantly and politely to my half-halts--I took him out for a trail ride to do a little galloping when we were done jumping.

We were strolling along on the buckle until we got to the woods that led us to our galloping hill. Bobby set off into a trot as soon as we got into the trees. I picked up my reins to bring him back and he went right into the canter. I told him no, but he continued to alternate between a trot and canter. He probably would have walked if I'd made a big deal over it, but it was a gorgeous day out and my pony was ready for a run. He started literally bouncing up and down in place as we came around the bend and the hill was in front of us. I tried to point out that vertical motion was not getting us forward, but he was too excited. Galllopingggggggg!!!!

headed into the trees.
I let him gallop up the hill, then we walked past the food plot and into the next field where we cantered down and then galloped back up a different track. He was Sir Prance-a-lot even heading home. Pony Face is too fit for so many days off. Hopefully my car will be fixed Tuesday and I can get back out on a regular schedule again!


  1. Welcome back! Hope your car gets fixed soon and its not to expensive!

  2. I missed you, crazy lady. :p

    Car troubles are the pits. Hope yours is up and running shortly.

  3. I am so jealous of your facility!! How amazing to have xc right there to ride on. There is a place not to far from me that I might move by young guy to in a few years once he is old enough to jump and they have a course. FUN!


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