Friday, May 9, 2014

Just two more weeks....

Two more weeks of jumping, that is. And then I think I need a hiatus. My brain just can't handle itself right now. I'm all like, "Brain, what the fuck are you freaking out about now? These are just jumps. We've jumped bigger. We've jumped scarier." Meanwhile, my brain is like, "DEATH. WE ARE ALL ABOUT TO DIE. ME, YOU, THE HORSE, EVERYONE. WE ARE DOOOOOMED."

I mean, it's just absurd.

I set up a few very simple jumps to get back into the groove today. I'm entered in a horse trail two weeks from now, and we really haven't had a real jump school in ages. Down one long side, I set up three trot poles to a vertical (2'6"), two strides to an oxer (2'6"). On the other long side I smushed two saw horses together that had been brought out for the show to make a skinny vertical (I think they were about 3'). Across the diagonal was a wide 3' oxer, and down one short side was a single barrel on its side.

None of those are difficult jumps for us. I much prefer oxers to veritcals, and with the 6' standards 3' looks pretty small.

I warmed Bobby up with the hopes that his beautiful flat work we've had the past two rides would carry over to his jump tack. At the trot, I think he did pretty well. At the canter, he was a rage monster. I couldn't get him slowed and I could barely get him stopped. His whole front end just kept getting lower and lower as he went barreling around. Never fear! That's what I set the trot poles out for!

exactly why bobby got jumped in an elevator before switching to the hackamore.

In we trantered, popping over the vertical and getting the two surprisingly calmly. The next time around, Bobby actually deigned to trot the trot poles and it was a much better jump in. However, the was the last of it. It's amazing how well he can compact his giant body to canter through 5' ground poles without touching them, yet he can't package himself to canter up to a fence normally.

We moved on to the oxer when I got annoyed with him ignoring me through the line. I trotted in to it letting him pick up the canter the last two strides. Cantering in just freaked me out for no logical reason. I trotted/cantered the last couple strides once more before trotting into the saw horses. Bobby turned in, saw the jump, and picked up the canter. Then he thought, "Hmm. That's suspicious looking." but hot damn I actually just put my leg on and he was like, "Righto! A jump's a jump! Over we go."

With that confidence boost I let him canter around to the oxer. He was wild. I tried to wrangle him back as much as I could before just turning him loose the last stride.

sometimes we're like fancy  ridiculous steeplechasers.

We finished up with the single barrel. He would lock on at the trot, pick up the canter, and then jump....the air next to it. After doing that a couple times, I walked him up to it, he jumped it lovely from the walk and then cantered off. Good pony.

The frustrating thing for me is that when I let him go charging around the ring like a crazy man, his distances are spot on. He doesn't chip, and he doesn't take a flyer. But when he's going that fast he jumps super flat, and 3' is not really much of an effort for him. That I'm not happy with. I love the distances, but not the jump itself.

4' actually requires effort, but there is no way we're schooling 4' course right now.
brain says no.

I know a lot of today was that he was just super excited to jump again. The dude loves to jump. The more we work on it, the calmer he gets. But my bitch of a brain has randomly decided jumping is sooo scary. Get over yourself, brain. It ain't no thang.

I'm going to force myself to do at least two jumps schools a week in the next two weeks. They'll probably be grids so Bobby is forced to check himself before I wreck ourselves. I have to get over this mental block. I think time off from jumping after the upcoming show will be a good thing. I get bored too easily to not want to sneak back to fences eventually.


  1. I'm pretty sure on my blog today I have nearly the exact same 'steeplechase' photo. And I also have the 'I like to barrel around with my head between my knees at times' horse too. I avoid any high jumps those days. Keep at it!

  2. I had a total weanie moment last week over jumps that I thought looked bigger than I had done in a while. I got off (after a successful lesson) and realized they were 2 foot--we definitely jumped bigger than that two days before. Unnecessary weanie moment, thanks brain.

  3. When my brain does that, I go back to grids. Once the grids are good, we jump SUPER again! Coach is fond of the bounce-one stride-bounce line...

  4. Try wearing your XC vest and see if that helps. Works for me. Makes me feel a tad closer to invincible. That or maybe it has some sort of human thunder shirt effect?

  5. Just start out small and move the jumps up again. :) Just go slow!

  6. Is there someone you could work with who might be able to help you with your brain fog at the moment? Build some confidence?


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