I don’t normally post on the weekend, but I wanted to get down a quick post on Christmas jumper night for posterity before the holidays and my wave of year end wrap up posts. Because they are many. And they are coming.
I entered Opie in the 2’3” division which ended up being shared with 2’6”. That meant there were a few 2’6” jumps thrown in—of which Opie has jumped one, one time.
I was feeling a bit trepidatious about this, not because I was alarmed by the height, but because I didn’t want to put Opie in a bad situation. He doesn’t know much about jumping, and I don’t want him to learn that jumping involves being piloted by a questionable jump jockey over fences that over face him.
|screenshots from the one video that got taken. you're welcome.|
Plus he wasn’t going to get the warm up he’s used to when I do jump him. That being a thorough dressage school which results in a balanced, collected canter. Instead he got a warm up ring with six other horses navigating our narrow ring filled with jumps. Opie isn’t a fan of sharing space because he’s had several instances at shows of oblivious fuck wits that run into him or cut him off. He kept pinning his ears and trying to stop every time a horse got near him so he didn’t have to deal with sharing his personal bubble.
By the time we started our first course—gambler’s choice—he was “warmed up”, but not connected or through. Also this is me so I had zero game plan going in.
Opie jumped the first two fine, knocked the third one after I circled him in indecision, jumped the fourth, and then took a big spot for a big jump to the fifth. And then I was locked in a corner not wanting to do the 2”6 two stride line and basically just quit until time ran out.
|out of the two stride|
Unlike last year, where he was about two months off the track and couldn’t stand still to save his life, this time around he parked it with the other horses and was happy to hang out waiting until called upon.
The second course was better, and good old honest Dopie hopped over everything with little input from me. He even blew through the two stride—his first, and his second time over 2’6”—game as the #childgenius he is.
While the final course was being set, I took Opie out by himself and got him trotting around. Being solo, he finally settled like a good dressage horse and was moving beautifully. While he was going around, I was like, “Whoa whoa whoa, what is this course?!” There was an oxer, a one stride, bigger jumps, and the gate with the missing middle slats that’s Opie’s bugaboo.
I figured Opie would get around it, but that’s not what my goal was. I want him to be confident and keep thinking jumping is SO FUN. I didn’t want to chase him around tight turns to bad distances and big jumps.
So I opted to take that lovely trot, turn it into a lovely canter, and hit just the oxer—literally the third one of his life, the other two being in his course from the event in August.
He was perfect and cantered away very pleased with himself. I stopped him at the end of the ring, jumped right off, stuffed candy in his face, and let him be done.
|love this adorable pony sized kiddo|
Overall not what I originally had in mind, but it turned out fine in its own way. Opie got loaded with extra cookies, snugs, and attention from everyone in the barn, so the night was a win in his book!
|merry christmas from the dopie horse!|