Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Building Blocks

I've been riding in a t-shirt that past two days! Shit yeah. Love spring.

And when it snows on Thursday, I'm going to hiding in bed all day until it's back to 50* on Friday.

helga, darcy, pig, and i ate our subway for lunch outside in the sun today.

Yesterday was a flat school that was so uninspiring and boring--though at least it wasn't awful--that it's not even worth blogging about. The only thing of note was how long it took me to rouse Sir Robert from his post-birthday hangover:

"don't even talk to me right now."

too tired to even lift his head for cookie wrappers.

But today I kept right on going with working up to a full course of jumps. I've gotta say, I'm pretty impressed with myself for how well I've been making up these little jumping exercises and building up from one exercise to the next. I rarely do things in a cohesive manner, so high five, Self.

Here's what we worked on today:

shit yeah, paint!
(i don't know why it's a grey background?)

The jump to left is three 5' trot poles, 9' to a 2' vertical. The yellow is a 2'6" vertical with barrels underneath. The orange is the traffic barrels set as an X.

I started him off warming up over the X both ways. He was fine the first couple of times, but then decided it was much too small to warrant anything except speeding up and taking it in a big canter stride. So we moved on to the yellow vertical, taking it from the diagonal and doing it as a sort of rollback from out of the corner. He was totes fine for that.

Finally, I pointed him towards the fucking trot poles jump which we are notoriously awful at. He was a superstar! Trotted in and jumped out without once trying to canter all the trot poles all at once. Who's a grown up pony? He is!

grown up ponies still get very concerned about things like shutting car doors.

With all that kick ass mostly obedient work behind us, we took a long walk break because frankly I was huffing and puffing like a fucking heifer about to collapse from heat stroke. Who knew 56* and humidity could take you down so quickly? I wish I could shave the fat off of my body like I shaved the hair off of my horse.

So the course was this:

Tracking right, come down to the X from a canter. Trot upon landing to make the turn to the trot poles fence. Simple change back to the right lead because fuck it all if I can remember to ask him to land on the right lead when being so impressed he's actually trotting trot poles. Roll back from the corner over the yellow vertical. Left lead canter, come around up to the X again.

This made me ride my lady balls off, and it made Bobby actually have to listen to me to wait and see where we were headed. There were so many different transitions and changes that we both had to think every step of the way. We are really bad at that, by the way. But we got it done! It's wasn't pretty, but it got done!

The main problem was the X that Bobby insisted was not a real fence and therefore didn't need to be treated with any respect. Fine. I threw the rail on top of the barrels and made it 3'6". Then I raised the trot poles jump to 2'6". I couldn't make the yellow vertical any higher because that's as far up as the holes went in the standards.

i feel like you need another "bobby in a tiara" picture
for making it this far.

The 3'6" fence garnered enough respect that he actually lifted his feet to jump it. But he did not once speed up to it. ZOMG, you guys: My horse maintained his rhythm all the way up to and over the jump!


I then had to sit him on his ass to get him to come back to the trot for the next jump, but once we got back to the barrel jump to the left, he also maintained his rhythm. I even gave him a little leg a stride out!


The best part is that a calm jumping Bobby is actually becoming the norm. So long as he considers the fence worthy of a jumping effort (basically anything 2'6" or above), he's starting to go on cruise control.

Fuck, who knew it could be so pleasant--and dare I say easy--to ride your horse?

Of course, we had to end our day by having a "Come to Jesus" about putting his hooves in a tub to soak them for the little bit of white line disease his back feet have started getting. Who knew that was a trick your horse could unlearn? Because I'm pretty sure he spent all fall with his feet getting soaked for one thing or another every single day.


  1. oh my god, the sleeping Bobby pics are the best. He looks SO. GRUMPY.

    Hooray for nice, rhythmic jumping, though!

  2. I like how your practice fences and "get his attention" fences are like, double the size of anything I'm comfortable with. Could you send some lady balls my way?

    (Also, I know the gratuitous sock porn was for me and I thank you for it. When's your birthday? I'll feed the collection.)

  3. Your paint is way better then mine (and I iz an art major) <3 Bobby the magical unicorn princess. And yes Beka is very very good at feeding sock addictions

  4. Wow, what a ride.

    And yeah, paint diagrams are always grey. I cannot explain.

  5. Bobby is the best at taking very descriptive pictures. I love this.

    Sounds like a sweet jumping school! Yay fun/easy rides!

  6. The sleeping pictures are making me chuckle. Who knew horses could be so expressive about just laying there!

    Keeping the rhythm to a jump! (send me your magic please!) :)

  7. Bobby is the best, he should jump in his tiara!

  8. Can never see enough Bobby pics, he has the best expressions. Great jumping session girl, you guys are kicking butt!

  9. Could he be any more of a diva in those sleepy photos? My god, he gets better and better :)

  10. I think Bobby should have to wear his Tiara at least once a week. It seems to keep him on task. (And the blogger friends happy!)

  11. I think Bobby likes the tiara... maybe it helps him jump better?

  12. Dude, Bobby in a tiara is total bad-assery.

    Also, tiara is totally affecting his diva-tude (in that he seems like more of a diva/drama queen now) - and I love it.

  13. I think his expression while laying down warrants the placement of the tiara on his head. Freaking funny!

  14. I can relate to how exciting it is to jump out of rhythm on a horse who doesn't want to - happy for you! Maybe he likes bigger fences ;)


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