Friday, March 29, 2013

Words of Encouragement

Hubby called me this morning and we talked in circles for awhile to determine that I would be going to the barn today. Really, sometimes I just want to be like, "Yes means yes, Hubby! If I say I can come to the barn because you're already out there and you need me to drop you off something while you're working and earning bank for my horse, I can come to the barn. We shouldn't spend five minutes repeating this in a dozen different ways!!"

But I digress.

Pulled into the barn and saw my favorite "Let's do bad things together" person was there. I stopped in at the indoor where she had just got on and told her the outdoor had gotten dragged yesterday and I was going to set up some jumps. She immediately abandoned ship and headed up there while I speed groomed and tacked Bobby. Heel test for the LH? Nuthin'. Didn't even acknowledge me whacking him with the hoof pick. Maybe someone's been behaving himself in the paddock for once and not running around like a looney? One can only hope.

I'd originally intended to set up the jumps for Sunday (hopefully), but with no wincing from princess toes, I figured we'd keep it at 2'6 and have a little fun. I set out the warm up jumps I'd put in the indoor when Bobby lost both front shoes (X, vertical, oxer across the center of the ring) and Sarah set up a fun tire jump.

tire jump to the right.
(can you tell memph used to be a srsly fancy hunter for his previous owner?)
There began a lot of fun and a boost to my self-training ego from Sarah. I got on, walked a bit, and picked up the trot.

Sarah: Holy gorgeous! What did you do to that horse?!

Me: I spent an entire winter working on dressage. But don't worry. Wait until you see our jumping...

Sarah's really only ridden with me on trails for a while, so she hasn't seen the beast actually being asked to do something. We both picked up the canter and she came across the ring. Memphis did a rather enthusiastic flying change (as he was feeling rather enthusiastic in general) and I was like, "Hey, we can do those now, too!"

Sarah: What?!

Turned in across the diagnol, brought my leg back, poked him with my spur, and he smoothly changed and carried on.

Sarah: A round of applause! Go, Bobby! Hold on, is that a whip? When did this happen?!

Then he sneakily tried to take off with me, but a little "yoo hoo!" with my reins brought him back. Another change across the diagnol from this way and we got ready to jump. I'd brought my running martingale up with me just in case, but figured I wouldn't really need it. Um, wrong. We came in to the X with his head in my face and bouncing up and down before deer leaping over it and deer loping away.

Sarah: Ok, I see what you mean with the jumping.

I tried twice more with the same result before I got off and put the running on. Apparently that thing actually does something for us. Jumping was much smoother from there. X, vertical, oxer, tires--all respectable efforts for my easily wound-like-a-fucking-top horse. He actually stayed quiet after the running was put on. AND! AND, PEOPLE!! Every single lead change, every single time. Whether it was auto or I had to ask for it, it was there with zero attitude. FUCK YES.

Sarah: He no longer looks like he's going to die coming to a jump. Plus, you can tell he's listening to you now, waiting for you to tell him to go.

It was really, really nice to hear that we're moving forward. Not that I don't know it, but someone could come in today and watch him go and be like, "Yeah, he's nice. He could do this and this better though." Sarah has seen Project Bobby progress from square one so she can fully appreciate the fact that we can canter a fence now without flipping shit. I'd much rather get praise for baby steps and small wins with this dude than be complimented by a stanger. Does that make sense? Maybe not.

sorry, giant donkey ears are all you get of bobby today.
i didn't even get a pic of his new boots of giant duct tape sheet patch.

We ended early since I still wanted to jump Bobby this weekend and Memphis is fat (No offense, Memph. We'll go into fat kid training together soon, I promise.), but we decided to top off our ride with a run up the galloping hill. First we were helpful and closed the arena gate for BM from horseback. Well, kind of.

Question: How many horses and people does it take to close a gate?

Answer: More than we had.

Bobby pushed the gate closed with his nose as he so cleverly has figured out how to do. He held it closed, but I couldn't get him to take another step forward so I could reach up and close the latch. Then he'd get mad at our hysterical laughter and back up, letting the gate swing open and whack Memphis in various parts of his heavily padded body. This went on for way longer than it should have, but it was too funny to see Bobby shoot us both The Look before releasing the gate on an unsuspecting Memphis who gazed about with a rather confused "Huh?" expression. I finally just got off and closed it myself.

Bobby led the way (of course) for a happily plodding Memphis until we got into the wooded path just before the hill. Then it was just too much to handle.

Bobby: I'M A RACEHORSE!!!!!! A RACEHORSE, MEMPHIS!! I RACE HORSES!!!

Memphis: Butterflies. Lollipops. Clouds. Marshmallows.

Bobby: I RACE HORSES SIDEWAYS!!! LOOK AT ME RACE YOU, MEMPHIS!!! I'M WINNING!!

Memphis: Candy canes and peppermints. Sparkles. Unicorn!

Bobby: THERE'S THE HILL!! I'M RACING YOU, MEMPHIS!!! I'M KICKING YOUR ASS!!

Memphis: lalalalalalalala.

After Bobby successfully "won", he calmly walked the rest of the way home until we got to the final trail to the barn.

Bobby: I'M GOING TO BEAT YOU TO THE BARN, MEMPHIS!! DO YOU SEE ME BEATING YOU?? WHAT ABOUT NOW THAT I'M SIDEWAYS?! Ouch, I just put my head in a bush. BUT I'M STILL WINNING! Oh, holy shit, I just walked us sideways into a tree. I'M GOING TO WALK FORWARD NOW, MEMPHIS, BUT I'M STILL BEATING YOU!

And thus ended another adventure with Rob & Big.

memphis's tag along.

11 comments:

  1. Oh God. Bobby is such a character.
    And WOW check out that form over fences from Memphis!

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  2. Sounds like an awesome day with an awesome friend! Those are the best! Keep workin' it!

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  3. Funny, your Bobby trail racing story sounds VERY familiar to me. Captured it brilliantly.

    Glad to hear that your winter of dressage paid off.

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  4. Your posts always make me laugh! Sounds like a good ride and love that you have someone to remind you how far you have come! :)

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  5. Entertaining as always. Yay for changes!

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  6. "Holy shit, I just ran into a tree!" HAHAHAHA! OMG that was priceless! Thanks for the laugh!

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  7. Omg haha! Love this post. Sounds like you had an epic time.

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  8. Woohoo changes for mr.bobby! Love their commentary while hacking :)

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  9. Hahaha, love Bobby's big-man challenger chat with Memphis!

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