|one of baby bobby's first jumps. clearly it was very hard work for both of us.|
Or not come. Because we could have come farther via the use of trainers, lessons, a giant checkbook, and a magically sound horse with feet like rocks instead putty. Or if Red Pony hadn't died, and then we'd be doing Advanced right now.
I'm going to share a few pictures of jumping Red first to give you all a baseline of where my equitation was on the daily before I was left with just Bobby Magee. Red was pony sized which meant my leg was often dangling past his belly even with jump-length stirrups, but I learned to jump anything of real height on him, and I owned him for so long that I've never been more comfortable on a horse.
|our first event in my ancient AP saddle. leg slipped slightly back, not the biggest release,|
but my reins are long enough that he's still able to use his neck. i'm not displeased with this.
|3'6" vertical in one of BO's ancient stubben's. leg slipped back, release could be a bit more |
forward. this pic makes me lol though because the reins have whipped under his tiny pony neck.
|same saddle as above. while my auto release is spot on, i have no actual contact with|
the saddle. magic. i learned to give with my reins and let red do his thing, but my leg
didn't always stick with me.
Then came Bobby, who didn't know how to jump.
Or not be a total drama queen when asked to do absolutely anything.
On top of that, he was the complete opposite of Red. Bobby is a full hand or more taller than Red was, but he possessed none of the athleticism Red had at any point in Red's life. (He's improved in this area.) He was very easily offended, whereas Red only chose to throw tantrums when he thought it was funny. You could boss Red around and he wouldn't care, but it would hurt Bobby's delicate pony soul for weeks.
|feb. '12. baby horse is very impressed with tiny vertical. this was only 2 months after|
i lost red, so i'm still in default red position. not the strongest leg, and defaulting to a long rein
but short release.
|sept. '12. as bobby got more confident with jumping, i adapted to his style.|
a generous crest release makes roberto happiest.
I've always had problems with the strength of my leg and keeping it in the proper position. I've never been a pretty rider like Allison. Clearly equitation was not my strong suit.
But let's hurry this along and add some height:
|oct. '13. same height, same saddle. maybe a little stronger leg, but still basically just|
floating above the saddle.
|july '14. same height, same saddle. not releasing because i went through that phase.|
it was a long phase. it made my horse very angry.
And then I sold that saddle, bought a Tekna, ripped all the blocks out, committed to some serious no stirrup work, and:
|april '15. my leg doesn't budge an inch anymore, though i've taken to really exaggerating|
my release and dropping my boobs to my horse's withers in the air.
|may '15. 4'6". solid leg, following release, one hundred percent stable.|
So let this be a lesson, kids. Do not be lazy and just sit around and eat cookies all day. Take some time from eating cookies to pull or cross your stirrups. Perfect practice makes perfect, and all that. That way, even if your horse is being a complete asshole and acting like he has never done the jumping before...
|"hurh durh, what is this cross rail thing?"|
...your position goes into default mode, ignores the stupidity going on beneath you, and you're still feeling strong and stable.