Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Bobby gave me A+ rides Monday and Tuesday. He's been clocking around so well lately that honestly I'm starting to get a bit suspicious.

i know it's in there...

After getting Sunday off we came out swinging with a drool-worthy dressage school. Usually I have tell myself that for being Bobby he looks pretty good. Monday he was looking legit as shit for any strangely conformed horse.

I think we've found a good warm up routine for us right now. Right off the bat at the walk he has to accept the bit and reach for the contact. It doesn't matter where his head or neck are as long as he's soft in his jaw, in my hands, and off the forehand. From there we do about five minutes of whatever trot he wants to give me. Again, as long as he's not dragging himself along on the forehand and he's reliably on the bit, he can pick whatever "frame" he wants to travel in.

At that point in the ride we're not really bending and he's kind of turning like a battleship, but I'm not forcing work down his throat which makes him happy, and it gives him a chance to stretch any stiffness out. He's no longer allowed to canter in warm up. He's not connected enough and it just turns into an upside down, braced, flail fest that accomplishes nothing but sometimes running into the wall.

i was sitting up after giving him a good neck scratch.
i swear my posture in a jump saddle isn't that horrible!

Instead we go back to the walk where I start collecting him up off my seat. This is the point where I start to get warm fuzzies about how well trained my horse has become. He's really just getting it lately, and he comes out ready to work from the first step. Once we've got a nice uphill balance where he's really sitting and his front half is way up in front of me, we move into the sitting trot.

Dudes, he was downright brilliant Monday. You all know I'm not one to wax poetic about my horse's abilities on this blog because it's more fun to mock him for his giant ears and silly tantrums, so he must have been throwing down to get some positive attention here.

Our second round of trotting starts out focusing on shortening and lengthening the stride. The shortening is as slow as we can go while still trotting and it takes a lot of leg. When we get it right, it's like dribbling a basketball--he's basically just bouncing slowly forward. Is this what half steps are? I don't know, I'm just here to grin and giggle at how strong and smart my lop eared creature is.

Once we've done a few transitions between the two, his regular trot makes my heart go pitter-patter. He's bouncing but floating but cruising in this big, open stride as soft as can be. Like for real, let me fan myself off here. We're going to the state fair Saturday, but I'll try to get Hubby out for video evidence Sunday. His gotten so strong and confident in his work that it's dreamy.

not a dressage trot. i'm getting better about pushing for good flat work while warming
up for jumping, but we've never going to get to that level in this tack. but look how beefy!

Alright, enough dressage. Let's move on to the jumping, though it should say something about how good the flat work was that it almost overshadows OUR FIRST 3' JUMP IN EIGHT MONTHS!

"why do good boys have to stand here instead of
getting fed cookies back at the barn?"

Tuesday morning we went back out to the jump field for another go-round. I kept my one single jump at 2' to warm up over in case of nerves, then knocked everything else up to 2'6" except for the second jump in the five stride line that went up to 3'. I was super nervous walking around when I first got on--like shaking in your boots show nerves. Once we got to work though, and I was able to focus on just riding my horse, I settled right down.

We started off with the 2' single and Bobby was in full back-cracking mode from jump one. He was jumping out of his skin over everything, no matter that he can walk over 2'6". Top marks for warming up correctly to get him sitting and pushing from behind, and then approaching everything out of a great big forward canter.

I made some tighter turns to jumps to work on keeping his shoulders up and my leg on so that we kept going forward out of corners and whatnot, and just damn--if I asked for it, he gave it. I feel like I'm writing about someone else's horse because when did mine become such a baller?

real talk, how the FUCK do you guys ride in these shirts?
it was only 75* and i was dying.

We finally got around to coming down the line. Bobby jumped in from a long spot, and I was like, "Oh, shit. Do I hold? Do I add leg? Probably add leg. Go, run fast, Bobby!" and then I ran us right past our distance and he jumped from basically underneath it without so much as tapping the pole. Whoops. Sorry, dude.

Right back around we came with me holding to make sure we got in right. I probably held too much because that's how I roll, but we still came in fine and I was like, "Just let him do his thing. He got us to the perfect five last weekend, he'll do the same this time. The height isn't going to change that." And he did, and he threw in another jump that felt like we were going over a 4' oxer instead of a 3' vertical, but not in an "Oh shit, I am afraid of this thing, let me jump really high and away from it." way. More like a "I feel like a fucking boss today, let's have fun with this shit." way.


those withers tho.

When we were done, he got a bath, a giant flake of candy hay, and a nap while we waited for the chiro. While he has been awesome lately, he's also been pretty sticky in the lateral work and bending in general. He was out in two spots in his neck, his withers, and one spot in his back that needed a lot of love so hopefully that was the final piece of the puzzle. He'll get today off, and then back to work Thursday.


  1. Dude, you have always been a baller! Maybe Bobby is finally catching up to your level? ;)

    Congrats on the 3'!!

  2. Yay for jumping big jumps!!! I'm also still kind of on the fence about those shirts -- I just don't get the majikal vibe everyone else seems to get from them... I feel just as hot! Haha

  3. SO many fuzzy good feels in this post!!!

    Also, I always feel suspicious of B when he's been really good a few days in a row, haha. Like I know a tantrum is brewing

  4. HELL YEAH!!!! All of this is amazing!! so thrilled for you, Carly!!! WHOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!! Also, I can't ride in those shirts when it's hot. They're ok when it's like.. 65 out..

  5. Woohoo!! Love these types of posts, good news all around :)

  6. I am diggin this post. You guys are hot stuff

  7. :-) I can't think of a non-sappy way to express how this makes me super happy for you. So it does. There.

  8. Finding the right warmup is so important yet so hard. Also I have no idea how people ride in those shirts in anything over 75. Seriously, I don't care how "cool" they are supposed to be, they are just too damn hot.

  9. Wooohoooo! Pace makes ALL the difference in the world, even when you fuck up a distance. I'm so proud of you!!

  10. Loving this post! Go you and Bobby!!!!

  11. Yay for big jumps! I totally ride in the Kastels in heat, but we don't have humidity, so maybe that's the problem.

  12. Yeah Bobby! And you. Because so brave! I ride in the sun shirts all the time, but the sin is so strong here that even if they trap a little heat, my skin doesn't feel so crispy after a ride. I also hose down the arms and the back of my neck before I get on though.

  13. Wooohoooo!!!

    Also - legit as fuck is a hilarious saying.

  14. You guys are amazing!!! So cool to read about how well things are going!

  15. Nice!!! Sounds like huge progress is being made. That's awesome.

  16. Your return to badassdom is complete in my eyes!! Get it girl!


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