Friday, August 5, 2016

Long Distance Relationships

Bobby and I have been jumping fucking fiends these past two days. I mean, we basically jumped as many jumps as probably the rest of you would get over in the first fifteen minutes of your ride. So whoa, look out.

Yesterday I'd planned on setting up a course to get lots and lots of repetitions over. Sadly everyone showed up just as early as I did so I had to limit myself to the two diagonal fences in the middle so there was enough room for greenie schooling, dressage schooling, tiny pony ride, and moi.

I kept the one as a vertical making it 2'6", and then I made the other one a 2'6" swedish--basically a floating cross rail which in my head means so easy. #carlylogic #notreallogic

nailed it.

Once again Bobby was taken my complete surprise when I finally turned him in to the first jump. He sputtered to a trot and then awkwardly clambered over because he's a good pony while BM and I shook our heads. He automatically goes into dressage mode flatting which is nice because pretty, but once we hit the canter he's not really looking up hunting for fences, and he inevitably seems to think I can't steer and we need to avoid crashing into this obstacle that just appeared in front of his face. (#runonsentence)

But after a couple of times he clued into what was happening and picked his head up.

It didn't really make for better jumps though.

We just couldn't get on the same page. He'd putter up to the fence, sometimes breaking to the trot, sometimes not, and then gallump over from a tight spot. Or he'd go forth and charge the mother fucker--only not really, he just made a big fuss while still picking a perfectly acceptable distance. The latter is obviously better, but the faux-fire breathing dragon shit does a good job of tricking me into thinking we're all going to die so I pull.

Not winning!

We did jump each jump a bunch (relatively speaking), but I finally left the ring and played over a few cross country fences outside instead because those are easy. We finished with a fun romp around the field and turned in.

good pony britches. still the best horse to gallop.

Today I was going to get my course work in. Keeping the diagonal pair (those standards are fucking heavy, okay?) I made them boring 2'3" verticals, and then set two more 2'3" verticals one the long sides.

This is where I have the hardest time with courses--the long approach. There's so much room to think about what's going to go wrong and start micromanaging in the worst way. I beat that bitch down today though.

I started off with the two outside jumps, both of which had almost the entire long side as their approaches. You can turn in and stare down those bitches for what feels like fooooorrreeeeevvvveeerrrrrr before you finally get there.

But I was brave. I was not scared about those jumps. I knew I had to put leg on and get him to jump out of a forward stride, and I spent all my energy focusing on that instead of chanting my favorite mantra: "We're going to die. We are going to die."

Not every spot was perfect at first as every now and then I'd pick too much and stuff him in there. At one point as we picked the canter back up, I shook my head and thought, "I just can't do this." I immediately bitch slapped that thought and told myself, "Bitch, yes you can. Just close your fucking leg." Came up and nailed the next jump.

I made the whole ride about coming in off the longest approach possible to prepare for this hunter show in a couple weeks, and that ride showed me that I can do it. I was sooooo proud of myself.

BM invited us out to the xc field with her lesson so we went and played out there for awhile afterwards. Bobby and I were in our happy place and taking everything off a forward stride from the perfect distance every time. BM told me we made no sense, but since this was clearly so easy to go off and do an auto release over everything just for some sort of challenge. Snooze, auto release is easy too.

we spent most of our time making friends and
taking pictures.

I know I still have a long, long way to go, but I am so counting this ride as a huge step forward.


  1. How did you nail it? You guys are just standing in front of it drinking beer (or that's what I'm sill-ily telling myself.)

    jk obv, and ya you go be brave, long approaches are a bitch, so make them YOUR bitch

  2. Yay! I hate the long approaches too. And swedish oxers are just like cross rails and are infinitely easier to jump. Your logic works for me!

  3. Love that last picture. Geldings are the best.

  4. That swedish looks absolutely huge to me so I'm glad you nailed it!

  5. I think the whole problem here is that those standards are hella short! You need some nice tall ones, so the 2'6" actually looks like 2'6" and not like 4'6". #mindgames

  6. Agreed long approaches are the worst ever!

  7. Yay, for progress! And I agree, long approaches are the worst. I much prefer to turn to a jump within a few strides of it. Gives me much less time to start overthinking things and freaking out and questioning my life choices.

  8. yassss. Jump those jumps!!! Tho I'm with you on certain things making no freakin sense whatsoever. Why am I ok with jumping a nasty pony who very recently wrecked her owner well and good? Or horses I know literally zero about? And yet have no inclination to jump Isabel? It's a mystery. But whatever. Just gotta do whatever works!

  9. I don't know why but I really like Swedish oxers


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