Monday, June 30, 2014

Grab Mane

Dudes--dudettes, whatever--I am pretty bummed about the lack of media that's about to go on in this post. I had high hopes for pictures, and video, and downright awesome shit all-around. But no. You get nothing. Well, you'll get something, but it won't be anything fun.

Sorry for having a blogger fail. Maybe next weekend.

After folding my very long legs in half to stuff them into a "saddle" I had no business being in on Friday, I woke up crippled Saturday. That wasn't a surprise, but I still navigated the stairs all weekend like a recovering paraplegic. By Sunday it was seriously like I was dominating my recovery process. "I was able to take the steps one at a time instead of sliding down on my butt! Champion status!"

But I did man up and put in a dressage ride Saturday morning. I dropped my stirrups a hole and contemplated moving the knee blocks back, but ADD brain struck and that thought was gone pretty much as soon as it entered my head. Next time.

fail horse outtake of trying to get his monthly conformation picture.

Bobby was pretty good for our dressage school. I guess he was at least good enough that I don't really remember much of it. I worked on getting his canter straight to the right. The judge from our last dressage show told me to push him over with my outside aids instead of my inside aids, so I focused on that. His haunches drift in, and I want to swing my inside leg back and shove them over to the rail. Now I'm trying to shove his front half into line instead.

It's very tricky. Really he just needs the chiro, but someone decided to go all lumpy and have the vet out which emptied his chiro budget. Way to go, Bobby.

dressage: the celebration of spit.
foamy lips after saturday's ride.

Sunday was supposed to be the big media day where Hubby came out to finally take some jumping pictures of us jumping big jumps. I told him I'd go canoeing with him in the morning in exchange for barn time in the afternoon. That turned into being on the lake for six hours and not getting home until nearly 5:30. Too late for barn time, plus I was about as pink as the tank top was wearing. Mission to even out the farmer's tan on my arms accomplished? I guess so.

But I was committed to make up for that by bringing my helmet cam and regular camera to the barn today and figuring out a way to make my rescheduled jump school still awesome for blog land.

Here's how that went: "I can't wait to see how this helmet cam turns out. It's going to be so balling. Better go grab my phone before I head out. Oh, I have to grab my brush too. I'm so going to forget that brush. Get phone, get brush. Get phone, get brush, Get phone, get brush. Ha! Didn't forget you this time, brush! To the barn we go!" Then I got to the barn and was like, "......DAMMIT! Forgot cameras!"

Story of my life.

Since Bobby hasn't been jumped since PlantationI thought today would be a good time to put him back in a bit assuming he'd be a little cray getting back to business. I dug out Sarah's figure eight bridle (Thanks, Sarah!) and swapped out her Dr Bristol for my french link elevator.

oh, boo hoo. it's not two reins. get over it.

I set up really simple jumps: a giant X on one long side, a 3' vertical on the other long side, and a 3'6" oxer on the diagonal. Since we're not gearing up for any events, I'm not working on anything specific. I just wanted to jump a couple of big jumps for the fun of it.

Bobby was a dream flatting around for warm up. I know people have opinions galore on how to use an elevator bit, but I've never had a problem with Bobby getting fussy with this set up. He really goes well in it, and he's not one to hold back his opinion on a bit.

I started him with the X which for some reason he didn't quite get a read on the first time. He bunny hopped over it, and then spent the rest of his trips over it jumping the raised sides of the X instead of the middle. Bobby wants big jumps, not cross rails.

He rubbed the rail of the vertical the first time just barely sliding it out of the cups because I think he was surprised to go from an X to 3'. I put the rail back up, and on the next trip he nearly jumped me out of the tack. He didn't make the mistake of touching a rail again.

no touching!

I was trying super hard not to pick, but with limited success. I don't want him to revert back to the "Hackamore of NOTHING" mindset because I can barely control him at shows in it now. To keep him from getting rabidly annoyed with my busy hands, and to keep from inadvertently screwing up our distances, I finally convinced my brain to grab mane (because I'd forgotten my neck strap in my locker, just I'd like forgotten everything else fun and useful today), and sit still.

Obviously that was the recipe for #winning.

I finally felt like I was being quiet enough to add in the oxer. We landed after the vertical and I was all, "Yay! So good! Your canter is strong though. What a strong canter. This is probably too fast for turning into that oxer. Wow, sunbeams!"

And then I was all, "Oh, right. Thinking and acting on your thoughts are imperative here." So I half halted, he adjusted his canter back to where I wanted it right away, and we turned in for the oxer.

Three strides out I saw we were spot on for the perfect distance, and I grabbed mane instantly to keep from fucking it up. Bobby jumped easily out of stride and I quit there. No need to jump his legs off when I got exactly what I wanted the first time.

It makes me pretty happy to feel how easily he clears 3'6" now. It still seems like it was not that long ago that he was having serious shit fits over 18" verticals. He's a tricky fuck because he's so easily offended by things, but I like where his brain is this year. At nine years old, he's starting to finally feel like a grown up horse.


  1. 9 years is a great brain age! His expression is so happy over the fence in the last picture, you can see he loves his job.

  2. I know EXACTLY what you mean about being crippled by being in an exercise saddle. I had the bright idea of galloping one when I was home on spring break, about two weeks after being on crutches/unable to bend my left leg/left leg atrophied severely. I actually couldn't walk for a day, the pain in my quads was so bad. Takes a lot of strength to be an exercise rider!

  3. Wooo! Big jumps!! And I know the feeling of being a grown-up horse.... my pony is 8 this year and is finally starting to act grown-up. Sometimes.

  4. Nice! Grown-up Bobby for the win!

  5. Good job for grabbing mane and getting out of the way! =) so hard not to micromanage

  6. I totally thought you meant the CoTH version of canoeing at first hahaha

  7. I LOVE to micromanage the shit out of things until my horse is so annoyed we can't get anything done. Good on you for being able to shut that down.


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