Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Assault on jumping

Dudes, I have been fighting the jumping demons full force for weeks now. Like, what is dressage? So easy, collection shmollection, it's not like a shoulder-in just disappears.

LOL, it does, by the way. Do not follow my training routine. EVAR.

paid lots of money for dressage memberships.
dicks around in jump tack all season.

We haven't done anything big, but I have been hammering down on the repetitions. I still haven't managed to complete an entire course yet because I still kind of, sort of get over one jump without dying and stop to pat my horse and celebrate. Sometimes maybe even two jumps.

it was so windy my helmet cover slowly blew off my helmet.

Bobby, for his part, has been absolutely rock solid. The dude has seriously not set a single foot wrong. He half halts, he rates, he bops along in a metronome canter up to anything I point him at. If we're not straight, it's because I'm crooked. If we biff a distance, it's because I inadvertently told him to. Yesterday when I was jumping, I was feeling my usual sense of "This is all going to go wrong." I decided it would be smart to trot my first fence for confidence building. Bobby trotted in before getting distracted by a horse getting turned out, so I oh-so-bravely closed my leg and told him to pay attention. He was like, "What? You want me to go? Okay! Off we go!" and took off from...uh, let's just say quite a long distance.

conquered the mother fucking tire jump over the weekend

But after that, I put on my big girl britches and forced myself to canter everything. And guess what? Bobby hit every distance and I was able to just sit there and go through the motions. A little half half a few strides out, and then do nothing more than soften my arms and let him go. There was no fear of him charging or crashing through anything.

I think a lot of what helps me not vomit off the side of my horse anymore is focusing on breaking down every step as I do it. Keep the outside leg pressed against his side to hold the lead, check. GOING TO DI--no, now it's time for the half halt, just a little one, good. Now soften, DEAT--NO! Has he changed his rhythm or his speed? No. Good, so look up past the jump, don't touch those fucking reins, and tah dah! We're alive! Nothing to be scared about!

bobby's all, maybe one day she'll let me jump something exciting again.

Some days it feels like I haven't made any progress. It's been six months already since I bashed my head. Surely we should be cruising around 3' by now! But then I look at my little 2'3" verticals I put up by myself and think, "Today I did not need a crossrail to warm up over. That is winning."

In six months, BM has turned Bobby into a truly reliable, steady packer type at home. He gets a little more wound up off property, but it's mostly just for show and when I actually take him to the jump, he doesn't do anything wrong. I don't pull my horse off of jumps now, and I don't pull him to a stop in front of them. From being too afraid to trot a raised ground pole to cantering 2'6" at a show is progress.


This morning we went and played over some baby cross country jumps with Ralphie. I ditched the bridle because it's been awhile since we'd done anything bridleless and I just wanted to go out and have fun.


Aside from constantly try to drag me into the pond to go soak (horse has priorities, yo.), Bobby jumped over everything without any problems. He was a little wiggly when not paying attention (but zomg BUGS were outside), but he didn't stop, run out, or get fast to anything.


A stadium round might not be in our grasp right now, but I can sure as fuck go out and enjoy my horse again.


22 comments:

  1. ha maybe this is what i need in my life. the bridle is probably half of our problem anyway lol...

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    1. I'm sure Dan would be fine if you showed up for your lesson bridleless. ;)

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  2. HOORAY!! So glad to hear (read) this! You go, Glenn Coco :)

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  3. You guys are freaking awesome!

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  4. I'm glad it's going so well. I'm not sure how to reconcile your professed terror of jumping and your decision to go bridleless xc. Pretty badass.

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    1. BM tells me daily she doesn't understand how I'll jump everything outside without issue and then have a meltdown about a 2' jump in the ring. The mind works in mysterious ways...:P

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  5. oh my- bridle less??? wow. I am impressed

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  6. has it really been 6 months?? wow.

    Happy its going well for yall

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  7. OH HEY THERE BADASS CARLY. WELCOME BACK. I think I would actually cry if I tried to jump XC bridleless. I love your happy giggles in the helmet cam! WOOHOO!

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  8. You think you still don't have your ladyballz when you are jumping bridleless? Psh, you go girl. That is totally awesome, so glad you are enjoying your pony again

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  9. Jeezus. Jumping XC with no bridle? You got balls, girl.

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  10. It's all in your head. Know how I know? CAUSE I'M THE SAME WAY.

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  11. Hats off. That is massive progress. :-)

    and PS I paid $$$ for all the dressage memberships too and that's gotten me officially nowhere. This is what happens when you try to be "prepared" with horses.

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  12. I love that you speak of your fears and then go jump bridle-less out in a field...
    I get that way too about jumping sometimes, and (knock wood) I didn't even have an experience to cause it. Just happens. Very frustrating. Nice job working through it!

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  13. Bridle-less jumping? *bows down*

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  14. So, so happy for you. I need to learn how to channel your process of halting all those thoughts of dying. And maybe a bit of your badass bridleless jumping skills. Since Riley is still learning how to turn *with* the bridle though, that may be a way off.

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  15. Go pony, go! Also you are way braver than I will ever be to attempt bridless jumping. Heck, bridless anything!

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