He started off the way Bobby always starts off working--completely inverted, refusing to move forward, and paying attention to everything but me. After a few laps of w/t/c each way, I got sick of him tuning me out and running around with his face in the air and just pointed him at one of the verticals. He took it from a long-ish spot, but it actually felt alright. After that, he was forward and wanted to curl behind the bit when not being allowed to jump, so that was kind of better than looking like a llama. Kind of?
|sorry, george. it made sense to me.|
Well, then he reverted to "Bobby Jumping In The Indoor"--my fave--and things just went to shit. If I got him moving more forward, he chipped big time. If I slowed him down, he charged the jumps and took off from wherever the hell he pleased. I was all, "Ugh, what is your deal, son?" and he was all, "BOBBY JUMPING IN THE INDOOR" which is clearly fucking code for "I'm a shit head."
I took a breather and just let him hack around...and he moved smartly off in this lovely, balanced, relaxed frame--in his hackamore! The past few dressage rides I've done with him in the arena were in draw reins because I could not get him to work with me whatsoever. Neither one of us were getting anything out of just wanting to punch each other out, so on they went. And then we were besties. And it carried over to flatting with no draw reins. Win-win.
And for those of you who are firmly against draw reins in any way, shape, or form, come ride my horse. If nothing else, you'll want to use them to wrap them around your own fucking neck to strangle yourself by the time you're done dealing with him.
But as happy as I was with his flat work, I had tacked up with the intention to jump, and I didn't want to just throw up my hands in defeat just yet. So I knocked down one of the verticals to a pile of poles and we began Baby Horse Learns to Jump. Again. For like the third year in a row. When will this end?!
Trot the poles until he was calm. Canter the poles until he was calm. Make and X. Trot the X until he was calm. Canter the X until he was calm. Put the vertical back up. Horse is ready to drop dead from exhaustion. Canter the vertical once, horse is calm, end it there.
Now my plan is to repeat Baby Horse Learns to Jump every other day, alternating with dressage work. One day he will be able to jump in our indoor, and once he learns to do that, he'll be able to jump anywhere. Maybe even at Bucks, even though I still think that place is fucking cursed.