Thursday, May 29, 2014

WRC Gaming Show

A summation right off the bat:

We came. We saw. We conquered.

Or, in horse show terms....

I got the trailer turned around without taking down any important buildings. Bobby finally got in touch with his ex-racehorse side. We took home all the ribbons.

"you finally tied me loose enough to graze, and now you want me to pose?
there better actually be a peppermint in that wrapper you're crinkling."

I'm so glad I ended up going last night. I was kind of bumming myself out that nobody would go with me, and was like, "Meh, maybe I just won't go either." But then I was like, "Fuck all you bitches, I want to go play fun games and this is only costing me $50 between gas and entry fees." So I got the trailer hooked up, Bobby once more dragged me to the trailer and walked right on (Is there anything better than a horse that self loads? No. There isn't.), and I made the hour trip up to Williamsport all by my lonesome--while silently applauding myself for not dying on my first solo trailering  adventure. Eventually the novelty will wear off, I'm sure, but it still makes me do a little grown up horse girl dance.

I got there with about forty five minutes before the show started, and once I got my number, I took Bobby for a brief spin around the arena to stretch his legs. He couldn't have cared less, and ambled around on a loose rein until we got back to the trailer where he spotted two riders racing their horses back and forth in the parking area.

"what are they doing?!"

He watched them with a lot of interest while alternately eating his hay and seeing if he could mooch as much trail mix off of me as the dogs were. Does any of this rambling have a point? Psh, just trying to brag about how I have the best show horse ever. Haters gonna hate.

"cookies for me too?"

Okay, enough bullshit. Let's get some recaps going on here.

Pole Bending

Bobby ended up getting no poles practice. Surprise! I'd done poles before with Red so it wasn't like we were both going in blind, but I wasn't expecting much. There were only 3-5 people in the youth divisions, so I figured we'd be coming home with a ribbon regardless of how poorly we did. Then the announcer called for riders from the Adult division to get to the gate, and this herd of horses started pouring in. I ended up with about 15 riders in my division which quickly put a damper on ribbon hopes.

However, Bobby apparently has this hidden gaming side to him where he picked up on the technique right away. Every time I shifted my body to swing in and out of the poles, he'd swap up front to keep himself balanced. He hugged the turns at both ends, and while he did his customary hind end stall out while it got caught up, he set right off again once he was straight.


Total rock star. It doesn't look like much from the helmet cam perspective, and I really wish I'd had someone there to video, but at least it's something. And, though the speed doesn't carry over either, we were good enough for sixth out of some legit gymkhana horses. His great big body might not be the best for tight turns, but his great big stride can lay it out when asked.

Keyhole

This was the one event out of the three we did where I was confident we'd sneak into the ribbons. All I had to do was actually ask Bobby to go as fast as he's capable of in such a short stretch and we'd match the speed of the other horses. I flubbed the turn a bit, getting a little cocky and not slowing him down enough just before the cones, but he went fast enough to get a fourth.


Barrels

This was the biggest class of the night with people coming in just to run the barrels. If Bobby can keep his back end up to pace with his front end, he's capable of being really competitive, but he's not there yet. I also miscalculated how far out we were at the start--as you can see by the other horses tracks in the video--and my path to the first barrel was out wider than everyone else's. Between that and the extra second for Bobby's other half playing catch up around the turns, I didn't think we'd get into the top six.


I took him back to the trailer after he got pets from his fan club who recognized him from the dressage show earlier this month, got him untacked, loaded up my stuff, and went up to the office to hand my number back. Just as I was about to go in, they announced the results. One Bobby Magee snagged another ribbon! I was so proud of the dude. He was a total boss in the ring, then calmly stood there with a hind leg cocked watching the other horses go the rest of the time.

Srsly. Best pony ever. Where's the next gaming show?

Also, while picking his feet out this morning, I found an abscess hole in his RF! That explains the occasional ouchiness he'd had last week, and why he suddenly felt sound again with all the soaking and wrapping. I didn't even notice it pop. He'll get the next few days off to let it close and toughen back up again, then he's in event horse boot camp for Plantation next weekend.

Bobby Magee. Doing all the things.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Onto the next foolish endeavor!

First of all, I have to give much thanks to both Karen from Bakersfield Dressage and Amanda from The $900 Facebook Pony for doing two kick ass giveaways....that I won! I can't wait to tackle the massive pile of tack that's still sporting dried white sweat streaks over every surface with my Higher Standards soap (and take lots of before and after pictures), and rock the shit out of my One Horse shirt! Thank you, blogosphere, for giving me such amazing things!

Now, as hinted at in my last post, I'm dropping the eventing and dressage digs for a day to go gaming tomorrow night. One of my goals this year was to diversify, and Bobby loves nothing more than careening around giant metal barrels. I'm also getting "brave" and entering him in poles (and keyhole, but he's done that before). Has he ever seen poles before? Bitch, please. Of course not.

"oh, hai. just being a western horse in an awkward pose."

I tried a new bit set up for him because I'd really like to get him off of the twisted wire/hackamore combo that has so far been the only thing I can control him in. I dug back out one of his favorite bits--a slow twist loose ring--and paired it with a rope tie down with really thick foam padding. With the combination of having the tie down limit his leaping and flailing, and the milder bit that allowed me to take a bit more of a hold consistently (because I was honestly afraid to really touch his other bit other than feather corrections that he mostly ignored), he went around a whole lot better than before.

There were still over exuberant flying changes, and whipping in and out of roll backs with more spinning than was necessary, and god forbid I try to keep him from the barrels once I set them out, but it was a pretty controlled madness.

I really focused on keeping him moving through the turns since his back end can stall out for a beat before it catches back up to his front half. That seemed to work well, especially while practicing for keyhole. I don't know how I'm going to go about poles. Maybe just set some standards out in a line tomorrow before I go? Eh, let's be honest. I'll probably just wing it once we get there.

back to walk sets on the gravel to toughen up the tootsies.

I keep trying to pressure people from the barn to come with me, but so far I've only had one taker who's backed out. If I do end up going by myself, and there's no one there to video, do you guys want helmet cam video? Do you want helmet cam regardless? You can get an idea of how that looks from last year's rodeo post. I'm already going to look like enough of an outcast in my helmet, so strapping on that awkward beast won't faze me any.

Wish us luck! Hopefully I'll be able to back my trailer around in the barn driveway so we can actually leave tomorrow.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Burgundy Hollow HT - N

Giant eventing moose totally sound all weekend? Check.

Giant eventing moose showing his happiness to go someplace by literally dragging me onto the trailer? Check. (Although also very rude.)

Giant eventing moose transported to and from the show by his owner? Check.

that's right! i finally drove my own rig for the very first time!
clearly i took it very seriously.

Okay, so those of you that drive your own truck and trailer all the time by yourself won't care, but go me! Nobody died! It was actually really easy, and I might be doing it again on Wednesday to go to a gaming night. Event horse to barrel horse. That's how we do.

Right, nobody cares about that. On to the show recap.

Dressage

We got to the show a lot earlier than I had planned on, so Bobby got to hang out and polish off his flake of alfalfa and dump two full water buckets over to play swamp pony in while we went and walked the cross country course first thing. That must have relaxed him, or he's so used to hanging out at BH that he was relaxed anyway, that he warmed up very quietly and politely.

my solution to hiding his neon pink ears?
fly bonnet ftw. swat does not wash out, you guys!

We had a minor discussion to the right when he reminded me that he does not do the bending or the relaxation or the obedience in that direction. We actually spent quite awhile working on this Friday and he worked himself up into a serious tizzy over it. I didn't want to revisit that right before we went in for our test, so I had to let it slide.


This show is so well organized (I'm looking at you, WRC) that they were running about fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. Since Bobby was being such a pro, it worked out perfectly and we headed in pretty relaxed.


He had some moments where he got a little tense--mostly in his medium walk work--and the judge marked him down a bit for tightness in his left canter as evidenced by his curled up neck. You can also see at least one time where I had to pop my outside rein to get his head back up. Overall though, it wasn't a bad test, especially for this venue with horses running cross country right behind you which is very exciting for a jumping moose.

We scored a 33 which put us in second after dressage. The judge's end comment was "A well ridden test--work to improve suppleness in body, showing correct bending." Yep. Exactly what we're working on right now. I got a lot of really good comments from this judge, so I can't wait to work on them.

Stadium

Because we'd already walked the cross country, after dressage we went down and hung out in the shade to watch the BN stadium. The puppies were happy to mooch pets off of everyone they could, though they were extremely concerned about the Belgian hanging out ringside. Apparently ponies are not allowed to be that big.

too lazy and too hot to change into my black breeches.

I finally headed back to the trailer to get Robert tacked up, and we went over to warm up. He was a complete rock star warming up. Steady, forward, listening, all the things.

Then we went into the ring and Maniac Magee reared his giant lug head.

first fence.

The first two jumps were an easy six stride line. Bobby went in five, and then almost went right through the rope fence of the ring before my one rein stop and feet up to his ears got through to his fucking brain. I literally brought him to a full halt before picking up the trot and coming around to the next fence. I let him pick up the canter when we turned in, but then had to do another lay back and WHOA half halt between the next fence--set on a really tight bending line--and then again after the next fence to make the sharp right turn.

oh, sure. it looks calm.

Jump five was set parallel to the long side and then an immediate left turn to six. Bobby went flying over five and there was no way I was turning him in time to get any resemblance of a normal jump to six so I circled him between the two. I knew I was going to pick up a fault for it, but I wasn't really concerned about placings, and he needed a schooling "Pay the fuck attention, ass hat" more than we needed a clean round.

We finished with no rails so that was at least a win. I wasn't even upset with how cray cray he was. To be fair, he's had a lot of time off, and almost no jumping lately. Plus our stadium rounds have never been particularly..."good".

And that, dudes, is one major win right there! I actually went into a show with the mindset of "This isn't a big deal. I'm just here to have fun." And that's exactly what I did. Yay, me!

Cross Country

Course walk.

The course was perfect for the first event of the year. Straight forward galloping fences with plenty of room for adjustments in between. I knew that if Bobby was in his event horse mindset, all I was going to have to do was sit there and let him run.


Fortunately, that's exactly how it went and he cruised along like the good pony he can be when not in the confines of an arena. I just showed him where to go and told myself to sit up instead of pull back if my own brain got a little squirrelly, and Bobby responded to me riding like a normal person by jumping everything in stride.


We only ran into two problems. The first was the water. I should have brought him back to the trot since it was the first time he'd seen water on course in over a year, and from the direction we came in it had a bit of a lip to drop into. He wiggled to a second's stop, but I tapped him on the shoulder with my whip and he stuck his feet in before leaping the rest of the way in and cantering out easily.


It took me a second to recover my reins, but I managed to get him pointed to the right fence in time and he jumped that without a problem. The last two fences were double barns. I wasn't doing much actual riding since he was on autopilot for the rest of the course, and I think the quickness that the next jump came up after the first caught him by surprise when the rest of the course had been long stretches between efforts. As such, he pretty half assed puttered out to the side, and I let him do it. I circled him and he popped over easily.

out of the water

take two.

Even with the run out, I was really, really happy with the course. Bobby was totally game, and I totally stayed out of his way for once. Aaaaaand, I didn't psych myself out for one second. Fuck you, jumping nerves! Win of the day.

Of course there's helmet cam as well:


We ended up in fifth place for our division.

why yes. i did spill that snow cone on my white breeches.
thankfully stain stick works really well!

And everyone got ice cream for the ride home, except for Robert who got a giant bag of homemade horse cookies in his show goodie bag.

no, they're not beggars.

I had a shit ton of fun at this show, and it made me appreciate such awesome secretaries and organizers so much more. No nerves, fun on cross country, ice cream, and significantly under the gas budget. What more could you ask for?

Friday, May 23, 2014

How to Properly Prepare for a Horse Show

Step 1: Give your horse plenty of time off. How much time? Enough that you don't remember the last time you actually put in a training ride. Does that bareback ride in a halter around the driveway to check for soundness count? No.

Step 2: When you do finally get back on, make sure it's no more than two days before show day. Don't usually ride the day before a show? Even better! Change that tried and true method this time around.

Step 3: You have a new dressage test to learn! Have you seen it before? ....Hello? Have you? Okay, good. It would be deviating from your excellent preparation skills if you have. Better run through that once. Your horse is being a colossal asshole? On to the next step.

Step 4: This is a w/t/c test. Your horse hasn't been ridden for at least a week. When he thinks he's a racehorse, get into a fight with him. This w/t/c test is starting to look a lot like a circus performance. Check that off the list; dressage practice done!

Step 5: You're about to jump around a 3' course. Surely you'd better let your horse at least look at a cross rail so he knows that poles are used for more than just the boundary line of a dressage ring.

Step 6: First cross country course in a year? First time you've even left the start box in a year? Does your horse even know what a real cross country jump is anymore? Eh, don't worry about it. Just wing it. It's only Novice after all. Stop. Stop that hysterical laughter. You're freaking me out.

after all, you're riding a champion event horse here.
look at the face. that's the face of a winner.

ignore the fact that his brakes rarely work.

Step 7: Clean tack; clean trailer; retrieve water bucket from across the yard where you flung it upon discovering those things you thought were seedlings were actually freshly hatched spiders (FUCK); clean horse again; and even though the horse is sound, pack his feet with magical paste of goodness one last time.

Step 8: The horse doesn't get his feel good candy three days out from a show. But someone has to use those expensive pills. Don't let them go to waste! See? Now you'll sleep like a baby instead of wondering if this is really the best way to go about showing. Have fun and don't die!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

TBT: Bobby's First Event

way back in 2011

these were the first xc jumps he'd ever seen, and he jumped around like a pro

also his first full course of stadium jumps

those knees tho

a green ribbon for a greenie baby event horse

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WW: Real Men Wear Pink

"just hanging out, getting my foot soaked...."

"....like a fucking gangster!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

VCBH: Bit It Up

Thank the baby Jesus for L and her blog hops to fill the void on an otherwise post-less week. (Although, for an extremely brief update on Bobby's hoof, I'll say that a) he's lame again, and b) I am getting so super good at wrapping feet. Thanks, Bobby. Always a teacher.)


Bobby has three different bridle set ups for his three different disciplines.

Dressage:



On his Micklem bridle, he wears a plain old Happy Mouth french link dee. He absolutely loves this bit, and I'd never put him in anything else for a real dressage school. Bobby is prone to intense dramatics when I change his favorite things, so Bobby gets what Bobby wants. He's been in this bit going on three years.

Jumping:



No jumping in bits for Robert! Not unless you want to bring on full fledged hysterics, and some of the most amazing backwards acrobatics ever performed. Whatever, Bobby. You were never destined to be a hunter horse anyway. The only difference between his hackamore and the one pictured is that the curb chain on his is flat leather. He doesn't tolerate the chain curbs. (That...made sense, right?)

Gaming:



Bobby goes in the above atrocious monster when doing wild western horse things. I don't even know what it's called besides "Nothing else will get my attention besides this ten pound metal contraption strapped to my face when I'm being a rodeo queen king". One day I hope he'll be able to go in just a plain snaffle for gaming events. But that day is not now.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Debrief.

Don't hold your breath for a single informative or in depth post this week. I'm waging war on Bobby's feet--the same feet that are barefoot because I wanted a show season this year without having to worry about them--and there isn't a whole lot of constructive riding going on. 

Bobby is sound, and I am still planning on showing this weekend especially since everything is on grass. But sound feet and healthy feet are not necessarily the same. I'm about ready to shank this fucking RF, just as soon as I'm done torturing it with every chemical known to man. 

To tide you over until I can think of some fluff posts to fill the rest of the week, here are a few pictures from our dressage ride Sunday.

warming up long and low.
this is about as low as bobby gets.

leg yield.
let me interpret that horrible look on my face in two words:
sitting trot.

forgetting that i was supposed to avoid the far end because of how deep it was.
bobby had to engage the 4WD to get us out.

floating right elbow of doom. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

X: Halt, Stand around

I finally got the video of my 1-3 test from my last dressage show to load off of Hubby's phone. The test itself? Pretty meh. Those leg yields are frightening. But Hubby did capture my ignored entrance by the judge, who--I'll remind you--had already acknowledged me and blew me in.


Still wins for worst run show I've ever been to. Congrats, WRC. At least Bobby was being agreeable for once in his life and stood like a rock.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

TBT: Red Pony

The Red Pony knew no greater joy in life than rolling in the biggest puddle he could find. These pictures are from 2009 when I had him boarded at the college I went to, and just before I sold him.

freshly bathed and clipped.

searching out the perfect spot...

nothing beats standing water for a good roll.

full coverage. mission complete.

In exciting blog news, I'm veeeerrrryyyy slowly starting to add labels to some of my more fun posts. You can now find some of the dressage conversations between Bobby and myself, all the Wordless Wednesday works of .gif art, and can reference back to the scintillating lesson fees discussions. Eventually I'll label all of the hoof posts. Plus, I finally added a search bar so that if you can't wait for that, search for it your fucking self. I'm not here to serve you, bitches.

In other exciting blog news, I intend to have another contest/giveaway for when I reach 200 followers. I'd like to do this by June so I have the cash to fund such extravagance (I don't actually have any idea what the giveaway will be at this point), so bring forth the new readers!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Off Again

Welllll.....it looks like Bobby is in for another brief hiatus, this one for an undetermined amount time. Maybe a day or two, maybe a week or more.

The good news is that it's not Lyme. The bad news is that means the only other thing that can cause him discomfort is his tootsies. (Not that there aren't other things. He's just never taken a lame step in his life unless his feet are falling off.)

Ugh, stupid tootsies.

the big galump and his friends being brought in monday morning.
my bm sent me this. so pretty!

So. What's wrong with his feet this time around?

Monday he seemed a little ouchy up in the outdoor, but the ring hasn't been dragged in over a week and it was rock hard. I couldn't blame him there, so we went down to the indoor. He was completely comfortable there, and we had a long dressage ride. Tuesday, it was raining which put us in the indoor anyway. He took a couple of uncomfortable steps when first stepping into the trot, but that was all I felt the entire ride.

Today, he was sleeping when I walked in, but jumped right up when he noticed me. I pulled him out of his stall and right away noticed he was NQR. It was without a doubt the RF--it always is, that stupid deformed fuck face--and I wanted to blame it on the ridiculous thrush his got going on that refuses to go away. It took me over a month to get it cleared up with Oxine AH last fall, and now it's back again. BM, however, thought it looked higher up like his shoulder.

I walked him up and down the aisle for her, and as he stepped off he paused for a big stretch of his RH. Now I was thinking maybe he was just stiff. I stretched all his legs out (Bobby loves his stretches!) before taking him down to the indoor for a longe.

Hmm. He's definitely off. Just the faintest head bob, and he worked mostly out of it, but if you were looking for something, you could see it. I still think it looks like his hoof. He wasn't reaching out quite as much with the RF, and he was landing toe first with a stabbing motion--like the major thrush in his heel was causing him pain.

He got some feel good candy, and BM suggested shoving iodine-soaked cotton up the crack. I'm completely out of real thrush medicine, so a trip to TSC is in order.

It's frustrating because his soles are rock hard and his WLD is finally cleared up. And while I've been waiting for some sort of hoof soreness to spring up with the ponies finally out on full grass privileges, we've cut his grain way back to try to balance it out.

He'll definitely get tomorrow off with just a hoof soak on the menu, but I'm going to stick the hoof boot on him for a longe to see if that helps him any.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dressage Over Fences

After giving Bobby Saturday off, I went to the barn early Sunday morning ready to slay some mental demons. Like serious ninja shit here, dudes. Apparently Kung Fu Fighter is my middle name because that business got taken care of.

Setting aside the grid idea for the day, I decided to set up a small vertical on the short side to circle over while essentially doing a dressage school in jump tack. It was like Saturday's lesson kids had psychic powers because it was already there when I went up to the arena. If that's not a sign from the "Get it together, ye who spazzes over nothing" gods than I don't know what is.

I dropped my stirrups a hole for a little more leg leverage and went to work on a quick w/t warm up before moving on to the canter in direct order. With my butt planted in the saddle and my hands starting off up by my boobs, I was able to rock Bobby back onto his booty and lure the front end away from wanting to pull an ostrich.

can we just drool over how amazing he looks for a moment?

Keeping both of us in a dressage state of mind, I cut our circle inside the track and calmly pointed him for the 2'3" vertical. He popped over it NBD and carried on like a proper gentleman. There may have been maniacal laughter on my part at this point. "Fuck you, jumping brain fart!! You're nothing but a blip in my horse's legit dressage fanciness!"

Did my mental rambling make sense to anyone else? No, but when has it ever?

The rest of the ride started to roll along in the same fashion. I didn't even trick myself into freaking out. On the contrary, I only had one very brief thought of, "I think I should be nervous right now" before telling myself to shut up and just focus on the canter, the canter, the canter (Who's clinic-ed with Eric Horgan before and now has his voice stuck in their head?).

I was like, "Wow, am I actually going to be able to write a blog post about how I wasn't a complete chicken shit? That's what's up." Then I proceeded to write parts of said post in my head, laughing about how clever I am (clearly those parts did not make it into this post), and the next thing I knew we were turning into a jump and my second of worrying was well behind me.

it's farming season which means i don't even know what hubby looks like anymore.
so here's a jumping pic from the ssj clinic back in march that was never shared.

Bobby did, however, start to come a bit unglued towards the end. I think his "I'm a good, listening dressage horse" brain began to get taken over by his "I'm a mother fucking jumping horse, bitchesssss!" brain. He started to get quite rude to the oxer (3', still set on the diagonal from the other day), so we had a little Come to Jesus about listening to half halts. By his final jump over that fence, he was a total dreamboat. 

We also had some obedience issues with the two stride line. The lessoners had taken away the trot poles I had set up and I didn't put them back. That left us with a long approach to the first jump. Bobby's first few strides were lovely and listening, and then he just couldn't help himself and took over like a freight train. That also got sorted out by the end, and I finished feeling like we'd accomplished a lot.

bobby loves bath time! look how pumped he is!

I still need to work really hard on folding my upper body more over jumps. I'm releasing with my reins, but because I'm still so tall in the saddle, it's more like I'm just chucking my hands forward. It doesn't make for a pretty picture, nor is it as effective as, you know, riding like a real person. 

But shit yeah for getting a kick ass jump sesh under our belts! We had a very hard dressage school today where I worked Bobby relentlessly on being straight to the right. We were both huffing and puffing by the end of it...at the walk. Being straight is so hard

LOLZ. But being gay is not?

I kill myself. Seriously, I do.

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.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hoofers

It's that wonderful time of the month where I randomly think to bring my camera to the barn and take pictures of Bobby's hooves. Yay!

He was last trimmed this Monday:

RF

RF
LF

LF
RH

RH
LH

LH

And yes, the WLD is being treated. Stupid hoofers.

Bobby had the last two days off and got back into work this morning with a light dressage school. Despite how much I'm still whining about the dressage show, I did manage to pull a couple of useful things out of our comments. Mostly that I need to stop letting Bobby dope along in his chosen gait--that being "How slow can I go without falling down?" So today's big focus was asking for more energy, more impulsion, and the ever elusive straightness.

one handsome hunk of horseflesh mugging for cookies.

Ugh, my horse can be so dreamy sometimes. He was all, "Ask and you shall receive...receive the fanciest mother fucking dressage moose you've ever seen!" I shortened up my reins, put my leg on, and he lifted himself right up and away we went for twenty minutes of badassery. We finished up with some lateral work at the sitting trot, including one ramrod straight leg yield right.

Let me just say, I love my new saddle. I'd never sat in one before or even seen one in person, and had only read reviews online,  but it is literally perfect. It fits comfortably over Bobby's giant Thoroughbred withers; the twist isn't super narrow, but it isn't the awful wide twist like a Wintec; the shorter flap makes it easier to feel his sides, and while I thought I might not like this because of how long my leg is, I actually love it; and the biggish knee blocks aren't obnoxious at all. It puts me in an awesome position, and I'm sooo comfortable in it.

I'm quickly becoming a lover of all things dressage, but I sent in my entry to Burgundy Hollow this morning so back into the jump tack we go tomorrow.

Also, the bald eagle's eggs down the road from us hatched! Cutest little alien birds ever: