Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Nailed it

Yep. The little large and awkward asshole had no problem coasting through shoulder-in both directions from walk or trot this morning.

very angry i took the cat out of his mouth to snuggle.
the injustices that go on in this horse's life, let me tell you.

Bobby came out of his stall bright and chipper, clearly holding no grudge against our battle yesterday. He leaned into his face brushies, he mugged for cookies, and he dove his face into the bridle.

Once we set off, he was loose and forward. I warmed him up for a good long while in a relaxed long and low frame and let him cruise around stretching out. In the canter he was feeling super strong, and I channeled the forward energy over the big X I had set up. I wanted to work on staying out of the saddle all the way to the jump, not chickening out and letting my butt touch down a few strides out.

It was a complete success over the X, and I was actually enjoying jumping around and wrangling Bobby after the fence. He was on fire, but it wasn't a crazy fire. He was just feeling really good, and he was right there when I asked him to slow it down a titch but keep the hind end firing.

Over the 2'6" oxer, I did chicken out at the last second and sat back a bit and let my butt brush the saddle. BM said that was okay though, as long as I'm not plonking down and holding with my seat. I don't remember jumping ever feeling like so much work before, and it's kind of not work I look forward to anymore. But we'll get to that post eventually.

a variation of the wall smashing is turning in to the middle of the ring completely.
variety is the spice of life, bobby says.

I had my pockets weighted down with cookies for when I moved on to asking for the SI. I'm very liberal with my bribery, and every time we got through a SI, I halted and stuffed one into his face. The first couple run-throughs were a bit tense, but once the cookies started flowing, he just went about his business without fuss.


Obviously I'm very glad my tactic worked, but hot damn, Bobby. Does it really have to be so difficult?

As he was being oh so cordial, I worked through parts of 2-3 for the first time since...well, basically since we last showed. SI, 10m circle, haunches-in, halt, rein back, turn on the haunches, free walk, and repeat. We had zero issues, and he even deigned to give me some really good TOH. I have a feeling those are going to be on the list of drag out fights one of these days. Does he know how to do them? Absolutely. Does he like doing them? Not one bit.

i love a good, majestic flowing butt cape

We finished with a left lead canter. He keeps wanted to bulge to the outside this direction, and the first time on our circle he did just that and smacked his foot right into a ground pole that was most definitely not in my chosen path. That seemed to wake him up to maybe listening to my outside leg trying to keep him straight, and we had better success after that.

The goal was to work on opening up his stride, and I was really pleased that he went right to it. He stayed light and he stayed in rhythm. There's no way we're near a real extended canter yet, but it's turned into a much, much better medium than we had last year.

I'm so nervous he's not going to be able to keep his shit together in the ring when I ask for all these things--he had a melt down over something in almost every single test last year--but that's why I'm trying to up the pressure and really fuck with his brain now. If I can get him to settle the tantrums down when I'm shoving things down his throat in a tougher fashion than what he's going to face in a test, I'm hoping by the time he gets in the ring a test will seem like a cake walk.

gotta up that mental toughness, old mule ears.


  1. Penn and Bobby are in 2-3 hell. I've wanted to knock Penn upside the head on the SI-10m-HI work. He is finally coming around to it... Oh yea, that halt rein back? I was messing with it and broke it. I was trying to determine if Penn was actually going back in diagonal pairs, so I'm asking again and again... and eventually Penn told me to f off haha. I'm still fixing that!

  2. Yay Bobby for managing SI without anybody dying! Haha. I like your bribery method. My ponies are food motivated, I need to carry more treats on my rides!

  3. lolz. sounds like ponykins found religion. yay for making the actual test itself the easy part!

  4. Bribery works so well sometimes. I like your theory and do it myself, make them work so damn hard that being in the ring/at a show is actually a relief. Yay Bobby for keeping your brain in your skull!

  5. I have a real appreciation for how well you know your horse. He's a tough one, but you can read him like a book.

  6. Bribery FTW! Not sure why it has to be THAT difficult, but glad it worked out.

  7. I love that I'm not the only one who bribes their pony

  8. Upping the pressure at home so tests at shows seem easy sounds a lot like jumping higher and doing harder courses at home so courses at shows feel easy, so that makes a lot of sense. I'm so glad to hear that Bobby remembered how to horse today, and was a bit more cooperative for you!

  9. Butt cape, lolz!!!!! Maybe he had a crick in his neck or back yesterday? Who knows?!

  10. Some day I'm going to hire you to work on my mental toughness haha


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