|trying to convince the barn cat to come to him. |
arthur says he's not an idiot and won't be chewed on, thank you very much.
In the meantime, I was able to get two jump lessons on three different horses in the past two days!
Yesterday W grabbed Apollo, I got Oz, and we headed out back to the jump field. I've ridden Oz twice before way back in the winter/spring when BM put me on him to try to give my confidence a boost over fences. He's the most perfect lesson horse in the whole world because he just goes around and does his job, and if you try to change his job he ever so politely tells you to fuck off.
Warming him up on the flat was tough work. He's an absolute giant with not-so-great conformation so he's gets away with murder in the lesson program as far as not actually using himself. His trot was rocketing me out of the saddle until I finally got him put together, and then I couldn't get him to pick up his left lead to save my life until BM was basically like, "Ask him the exact opposite way you would ask any other horse on the planet" and we got it. Lesson horse problems, yo.
The jumps were set between 2'3" and 2'6" which are basically ground poles to this horse, and I knew from riding him myself and watching him go around lots of times that he puts zero effort in to his jump, and if he's going to run out, he slowly does it from about five strides away. I was still a little nervous to jump him anyway, and I clung to his face approaching the first jump which made him do exactly that.
Once we got that out of the way, I was fine nerves-wise. He pulled the same stunt coming into the line because I tried to steer him with my reins to get him straight instead of my leg, and Oz says no touchies on the reins when jumping, thank you. After that we were good to go, and having BM tell me to push my hands way forward kept both of us happy for the rest of the course.
|hanging out watching pony be naughty|
Apollo was being super naughty for W (so naughty that BM got on him after me and schooled him even more), and she was really beating herself up over it, so we switched mounts because she loves Oz and I love flatting Pony. The little shithead went right into dressage boot camp, and then I was feeling brave enough to pop him over the first jump in our course a few times. That might not be exciting to anyone else, but the last time BM tried to get me to jump him I was too scared to do anything but walk him over a six inch jump.
|pony was ANGRY at me for making him work|
This morning I climbed aboard dear Momo, fondly referred to around the barn as Dumb Dumb. He's such a sweet dude and so cute, but he really is as dumb as a rock. He had such incorrect training at his last home that it's basically like riding a super, super green bean. I don't mind flatting him because when he gets it he's so fancy, but the dumb really shines through as he tries to figure things out.
His biggest problem is that he has zero sense of self preservation, and when I asked for the first canter depart he face planted almost instantly. When I tried to kick him forward and basically lift him back onto his feet, he was just like, "LOLZ, it's okay! I don't mind when we fall down!" Once his two halves are talking to each other and his attention is on you, he's great. It's just making sure his brain is switched on before doing anything that's the tricky part.
|it's hard being dumb dumb|
We did lots of trotting around to make sure we weren't going to fall down again before coming to the first jump--all cross rails for this dude. He's a cute jumper, but again--he just doesn't get it. He also slings his head into your face once he sees the jump and it makes both you and him lose sight of where your distance is. Not the best jumping logic, dude. As we kept going around, trotting our little course of cross rails, he started settling into it and making better decisions and we were able to quit on a relatively good note.
I was able to pick up a couple of good tidbits from BM from all three rides, but mostly it was really good for me to be able to jump jumps on a horse that isn't mine and not be paralyzed with fear. It's easy to lose sight of how much progress I've made with my confidence when all the sudden loping around a 2'9" course (last week) with Bobby feels totally boring. But being able to look back and know how much trouble I had getting over absolutely anything with those first two horses--the steadiest jumping horses in the barn--right after my crash, to today where it's not a big deal is a big deal.
Thanks, lesson ponies, for a good pick me up after my own horse gave me a pretty shitty week.