Bobby got revved up all right. Bobby got revved up backwards and sideways and upwards, and when Bobby was done getting revved up, he had a great big scrape on his hind quarters from running into a standard.
"Bobby," you say. "What was the cause of this spectacular display of dramatics?"
To which Bobby answers, "Oh, nothing. Just doing that thing I do."
And to which Carly, his ever doting owner who has somehow not shipped him off to the packers yet--and I'm not referring to a Pony Club kid here--tries to tell her side of the story, but instead just starts crying....mostly out of frustration, but also because there's a lot of blood running into her eyes from banging her head violently against the wall over and over.
|it's truly exhausting being bad all the time.|
Clearly something has to change on the flat side of things because this is getting a bit ridiculous even for me, and I've been dealing with this shit for the past three years now. I've got some ideas to try out, and I'm hopeful they work.
But let's not dwell on the negative. I actually had a really good ride today!
I pulled the main components from the course work we did in Sunday's clinic--a five or six stride line, with two jumps set on the diagonal to make bending lines. During our warm up, I focused on bringing his canter back with my shoulders and scooping with my seat instead of getting super busy with my hands. Bobby was a little wild, but he listened well enough.
I had both verticals in the straight line set up at 2'6" and I started him off on a circle over one of them. Three times both directions, making sure he landed on the correct lead, and onto the line. We nailed the six-five-six strides the first time, though I had to take a bigger hold than I would have liked to squeeze in the six the last time through. But yay for me to think to do it as soon as he landed instead of one stride before the jump!
|all terrain outdoor: we can school ditches!|
fuck you, winter. stop stealing all our footing.
We did the bending line (only a 2' vertical for the diagonal fence) from the left first which rode literally perfectly. We did that once more equally as awesome before trying the bending line from the right. I had the gate set at 3' for the diagonal jump and Bobby launched himself over it from a mile away. I was like, "AHHH!!", but still managed to steer him sort of towards the next jump which probably wasn't the best idea. Bobby took a Hail Mary to it and got us over, but it was exactly the sort of thing we're trying not to do anymore.
I regrouped, came around in a much more controlled canter with a bit more hold, and Bobby deigned to agree with my distance. I know Bobby finds this terribly hard to believe, but I'm not always completely incompetent and by listening to me we got over it a thousand percent better.
So on to the mini course! Vertical line in six strides, left bending line, right bending line.
Bobby got in a little tight to the first jump which usually inspires me to just sit there and be sad and let him go flying off to wherever he pleases, but I had a plan to make that six strides, damn it, so I used his jump in to my advantage and kept the slightly slower canter he landed in and nailed the six strides.
No time to celebrate, I had to make sure he was on the correct lead (check) and set him up for the short turn for the bending line. Easy jump in, nice sweeping turn, easy jump out. Correct lead? Check. Slow the canter, keep a hold of the reins, a little bit of an awkward jump in, but nothing too bad. Who cares, there's another jump coming up pronto. Keep his shoulders straight and awesome jump out. Correct lead? Check.
SHIT YEAH MY BRAIN WORKS MOTHER FUCKERS!!!!
|playing in his puddle after our ride.|
It is SO HARD for me to move on from one jump to the next. It's like I need my brain to slow down and process what I need to do, but I also need it to move fast enough to get to the next fence before we're hurtling into it. Having an outside person stand there and force me to carry on to the next jump was a massive help. I made myself carry that over to today, and while that may make it sound like having voices inside my head is a good thing....well it's a good thing.
We jumped the coop out of stride to celebrate being general bad asses and went for our daily nature mosey.
Bobby has a very specific trail ride routine we must adhere to. After walking up the hill, he goes into the evergreen patch and sniffs out his previously located deer carcasses. Sometimes this involves taking the most direct route possible which means if I'm not paying attention--which is almost always--he walks both of us head first into trees.
|just us, hanging out IN A FUCKING TREE.|
|"hey, lady. i think we're stuck here."|
"no shit, DICK. i wonder how that happened."
After visiting the two dead deer he found last week, and the third he found today (my horse is such a fucking freak, I swear), we have to go play in his puddle on the side of the road. If I'm like, "Bobby, it's really cold today. Maybe we can skip the puddle and go back to the barn" he throws a fit. Then we have to take a very specific path back to the hill that involves the longest, most indirect way possible before he finally agrees we can head home.
If it's true the only the difficult horses make it to the top levels, Bobby is going to be the most successful event horse of all time.