Wednesday, January 27, 2016

PONY.

Meet Step One of rehabilitating Carly to over fences work:

"HAI COOKIES NOW SO HUNGRY FEED ME."

Now I know that I mentioned in my last post BM offered up her giant red TB to pack me around tiny fences until I feel like I'm not going to shit myself when something is higher than six inches, but Oz--the giant red TB--has spent this winter doing his best bashing his body parts on things and bleeding all over, and above pony is in constant need of "military rule" flat schooling according to BM.

So we did a little switcheroo of plans. Oz is step two. "When you're ready to canter fences again, you're going to canter them all day on Oz because there's no horse better for that job than him." Apollo is step one.

The pony is an Arabian/Quarter Horse/Welsh teen aged lesson pony. He likes to spook at random things when you ignore him for any amount of time, and he's the worst beggar for cookies I've ever met in my life, but he is a complete blast under saddle as I found out this morning.

pre-grooming. how do people own grey horses?!

His walk feels like you're on a ship in a very wavy ocean because it rolls along instead of feeling like each leg is being picked up and set down individually. It was a bit weird a first, but so comfy--sort of like how I'd imagine a gaited horse to be. His trot was totally pleasant, and the second I asked him to carry himself properly, he went right to work. His mouth is light, his half halts are instant, and he trucks along without any brattiness once he realizes you're not going to take his shit. His canter was decidedly not pony at all. He's very sporty and smooth with none of that short, choppy canter some ponies can throw out. I could have cantered along on him all day. Plus, I mean, HE'S A PONY.

HE'S JUST FUCKING CUTE ON PRINCIPLE.

PONY COOKIES FACE.

After I had a blast warming him up, BM asked me if I was ready to jump him. I was like, "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?"

The freaked out spazzy hamster half of my brain said, "No. Let's just have more fun on the flat. Flatting is SO FUN."

The very tiny baby balls side of my brain said, "You will be brave again, Self! Do it! No one is going to die!"

And BM said, "This pony doesn't know the word stop. He is not going stop on you."

So I said, "Please make me the teeniest, tiniest, babiest, microscopic cross rail you can."

I trotted my trusty pony in towards it. I felt him lock on and get excited, so I squeezed my fingers a bit to keep him from rushing it, and....

He trotted right over it like it wasn't even there. I mean, I'm not sure he even had to lift his feet up any more than he was just trotting along on the rail. BM laughed and set up another jump, this one a daunting 18" vertical. I dutifully trotted my X again, the pony dutifully pranced right over it without a care in the world, and we came around to the terrifying vertical.

Chanting out loud a mantra of, "Don't freak out, don't freak out, do no freak out" (Have I mentioned how much I love BM for her abilities in managing and not judging her bat shit crazy clients--myself definitely included?) I kept my eyes up, my leg sort of on, and Apollo did just enough to get over it at the trot without knocking the pole, but it wasn't so much of a hop.

AND I'M ALIVE TO TELL THE TALE.

So, there. That was my victory for the day. I "jumped" an eighteen inch straight rail. My own horse was also very good in his dressage school, so even though these are the very smallest of baby steps, we'll take each win as it comes.

here is my puppy eating a giant icicle because
she is cute, too.

Bobby has a training ride tomorrow. You have fun jumping my fancy Thoroughbred over big jumps, BM. Imma be over here like, "Rocked the shit out of that X today, Pony. We're so boss."

28 comments:

  1. There is no better confidence builder than an experienced jumper pony. They are amazing.

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  2. PONYYYY! Happy to hear you kicked that crossrail's ass!

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  3. I already like Apollo! He's so cute and he walks 18" jumps. He's a good one <3

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  4. Yayyyy cute ponies! My neighbor has a Quarab and it's the most fun mare ever.

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  5. Ponies. Non-evil ponies are the best.

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  6. Do you think BM would notice much if you traded Pony out for Bobby? I mean, just on photogenic-ness alone, you've got a win.

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  7. Yah. That's what I'm talking about. Tell us more about how you stomped the shit out of that crossrail and conquered the world. :)

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  8. Wait, wait....a pony that doesn't know the word 'stop'? And doesn't have any brattiness and enjoys working? I'm pretty sure you rode a unicorn today ;)

    Congrats on kicking the shit out of that cross rail! You go, Bad Ass Carly!

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    1. Well, to be fair, I was originally asked to ride him several weeks ago when he was flinging lesson kids off left and right and he needed an ass whooping, but then I broke my head. So now he's gets to pack me around over fences while I school his cheeky self on proper manners on the flat.

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  9. You need to come visit me and jump Simon ;)

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  10. The best thing about ponies is that even when they are truly rotten they're still cute. Glad you had a great ride and kicked ass over the jumps!

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  11. Aw yay pony!! I love him. Let's buy him.

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  12. Aah, pony pony pony. Sounds like a good confidence builder, I like horses that I can virtually step off of, makes things sound less scary. Also that wavy motion is how I'd describe walking on a TWH.

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  13. The jump fear is real. My pony (14:2 welsh cob) and I started jumping last year. Instructor was awesome, we were jumping 1m, loving it. Then she got freaked by a) I can't see a distance to save my life b) cross country school from hell, a hundred horses, people falling off everywhere and she stopped after her front end had taken off so we were stuck on a log vertical. Since then we have gone through all stages of jump nightmare. Rushing, stopping, running out, running through jump wings, ditching me twice in one day blah blah. So we stopped jumping for three months. Then we trotted all the poles between wings, then cantered all the crosses. Last week we went to a freshman so day. ie no scoring. Keep having rounds if you want them, as many refusals as you need etc. well we did 45cm and she braked to 2/3 of the course but leg/stick over them all. We did three rounds, the last at 55cm. She was sticky, had no half halt, her steering went to hell But I Didn't Die. She is jumping 70cm at home With No Stick. I'm feeling better about it but man, what a process. And no selling for me because this mare is actually my stain try harness horse who will put up with all things once her blinkers are on, pity they can't judge height in blinkers ;)

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  14. Hell yeah! Maybe a trade in the future? :)

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  15. Squeeee!! Pony. Ponies are so much fun, he sounds kind of like mine. She wouldn't stop if you put a flaming fence in front of her haha

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  16. I have so many jumping mantras! I'm like "stretch down, sit tall!" or "don't yell, don't yell!" and sometimes I jut sing the jeopardy theme song...

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  17. Oh this sounds like fun :D I really want to hear some of the pony stories, ponies are simultaneously cute and evil. So glad you are getting your confidence back, get ready to have pony power!

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  18. Omg I want a pony like that! The only ponies I've ridden are mean. But like they are so cute!

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  19. Cute pony! Congrats on taking steps to conquer your fears.

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