Sunday, January 6, 2013

And Again

I'll give my rides so far this year one thing: consistency. As in, we have been consistently sucking ass with jumps.

I pretty much never jump more than once a week, and if I do, it's only twice a week. However, since Bobby's jumps have been more along the lines of ground poles and jumps so little they may as well be considered ground poles, I made Saturday another jumping ride. I set up a wide-ish 2'6" oxer and left the little 2' vertical up with no intention of going over it. Stupid little jump that hates my soul.

We started off with a really good canter to the right. Thanks again, George.

I've been working really hard mentally to judge Bobby's approach to jumps. Sometimes he is being a serious tool and blowing through me to get to a jump. Sometimes it just feels like it and he's not. So yesterday I was being more lenient and really focusing on what I was feeling. Part of me felt like I was letting him get away with something, but the logical part of me that very rarely pokes through reasoned that he really was jumping just fine.

To the left, he needed quite a bit more leg to get him going forward and I struggled with that the first couple of times, but at least I was aware of it! Usually I'm so oblivious to pace, it's ridiculous.

My plan to finish off was jump from the right, change direction across the diagnol, and jump from the left. Nothing hard because things were going well and Bobby was jumping great. He went over fine to the right, landed cross cantering which I lazily let him get away with since we were about to switch anyway, and then he had the front rail to the left with a knock from a front hoof. I wanted to do it once more so we could end with no rails.

When does that ever work? EVER?!

Came around to the right again. Turned the first corner and he switched behind. Uh uh. That throws him so off balance coming towards a jump, it's not even funny. Switch behind equals guaranteed stutter step and an obnoxiously deep spot. Brought him back to the trot, picked the canter back up, circled, and came again. Again the change behind.

Thus began a fifteen minute epic battle of  "Do not fucking change behind Bobby, so help me God." with the reply of, "Oh, okay. PSYCH!" Now I know this horse is a delicate flower and getting into fights with him usually brings about the downfall of any productivity, but I can only hold his hand for so many things. Last weekend, he was changing behind because of me riding poorly. Not the case yesterday. Since New Farrier put front studs in, he has not had this issue a single other time, and I was making damn sure I was being a very careful rider to not inadvertently shift, bump, or tug him.

Honestly, I didn't even know how to remedy the problem. He changed behind, I instantly stopped him and made him canter again. Over and over and over. And over and over. Eventually, I got him to hold it and we turned in to the jump, jumped it, and immediately praised him and called it quits. What would you guys have done? I really have no idea even now how to handle something like that.

hot mess.
He took no time to stop blowing, but he was lathered and for the only time ever I actually had to be somewhere that night so I rubbed him down, going through three towels, until he was only a little damp on the top of his neck. He goes out at night and it was cold, so as a precaution I just left him in for the night. I'm willing to sacrifice a night of turnout for no sniffles.

This morning, I went in early to make up with him. He had some runny poop in his stall from that morning, so I checked him temp. 99.5 No bigs. I shoved some Probios down his throat with a chaser of peppermints and tacked him up.

We had a lovely fifteen minute dressage school in the indoor. Turns on the forehand and some counterbending at the walk, and focusing on being correct and forward at the trot. We did one circle each way of canter and called it quits. We were both happy with how we did. Thank God.

Then we went out for our Sunday trail ride. We walked on a loose rein the whole time except for a run up our galloping hill. I figured I owed him a little fun. He was quiet but alert and didn't offer a scoot the entire time. He gave the hairy eyeball to some round bales that have been stacked by the trail since the beginning of time, but it was more of a "Hmm. I think I've seen those before, but not covered in snow horse eating lava. Oh, well." instead of a freak out.

Friends again, Mr Magee.


  1. you guys look good together, to be honest I think that you did the right thing with him, it's what I have had to do with Gatsby before when he was being stubborn!

  2. Haha, I love the "PSYCH!" My horse does that too, but it sounds like he should definitely be over it with a nice trail ride and fun gallop the next day :)

  3. Just found your blog, and have read January's contributions. Sounds like Bobby is a bit of a character - Have to say I'd have done the same as you re:the jumping question. Always best to finish on a good note.

    Thanks for following my blog! I'm looking forward to catching up on your earlier posts to learn more about yourself and your equines! :D

  4. Love the video. You and bobby look really good together. I would have done the same thing about him changing behind. If you just stay consistent about fixing it every time he changes he'll soon figure it out.

  5. Once, Cuna had a day where he was changing behind. Don't know why. Steph had me bend him to the outside and keep him really connected through the corner (I think... been a while).

    Could it be a strength issue? He did have a long vacay and hasn't done much since.

    1. It might be. He was doing it this summer in the outdoor all the time so there could have been an issue with strength there as well. The chiro didn't find anything, and he's felt really solid since he got front studs in. I'll definitely have the vet do flexions and what not when he gets his shots done.


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