Not to be confused with its demon cousin log jumping:
Dopie has been getting his arena jumping learn on as we gear up for the last show of the year--a hunter show! You guys know I love me a good frolic through the land of fifteen warm ups and sideline coaching.
Are we good at it? Fuck no!
Do I have any shame whatsoever? Also fuck no!
|only here to dress my horse up in his cute hunter gear|
But in true Carly fashion, we have yet to work through a full course or even set lines. Nah, bitches. We've been gymnasticizing (Is that not a real word?) our way through the learning process. We've done some singles. And we've done a lot of cantering.
It all makes sense in a roundabout way though. I promise it always does.
First things first, poles and gymnastics. Last week BM had a sort of gymnastic line set up--an extension of a little jump exercise I ran Dopie through a few days prior. Pole, jump (I then had another pole and that was that), one stride, another pole. The poles were set at a snug distance while the one stride was going. Adjust! Have feet! Use them responsibly!
|sometimes those feet are super tricksy|
He actually totally nailed that exercise and kept dragging me into the line each time we took a break from it. The same day we also worked over a single set so we could come off a short approach or the hunter-esque long approach. The short side was easy peasy. He hit it twice right out of stride, jumped like a good boy, and loped off. We quit that direction on that. The long side was an exercise of me figuring out the correct canter to put him in, and then him maintaining that canter instead of lurching back and forth between speeds.
Thus all the extra canter work.
|herp derp, beluga whale on the move|
We had an intense flat school last Friday where I was able to get a fucking awesome collected canter out of him to the left. I aimed for three to four strides at a time because sir was sitting and then I'd let him melt back out into a regular canter. The adjustability there was just what I wanted, so I was expecting similar results to the right.
Instead he was so crooked I ended up zig zagging him back and forth across the arena a dozen times until he got the front end and the back end in line and under himself and settled for cantering straight down the quarter lines for
Fortunately it ended up setting us up well for Saturday's ride. I set up a grid with whatever was already out there because I was too lazy to drag any more standards from the indoor. I ended up with bounces to an oxer. My oxer was supposed to be two strides away, but Hubby somehow turned it into a long one stride so we just rolled with it. Making Opie stretch out over jumps when he tends to do the llama leap from underneath them wasn't the worst thing.
Opie was GUNG HO for this grid. He was living for it.
|could those ears be any farther forward?|
He was so pumped he almost kept cantering out of the arena a couple times before I finally made the rule we would be stopping at the fence line.
But the grid exercise was great for both of us for a couple reasons. He had to come into it straight. That meant the turn had to be straight which meant the shoulders had to be straight. If we got the turn right, which we only messed up twice (in a row), the grid rode like an arrow. I also had to occasionally sit down and drive him forward into the bounces. It didn't matter if he hit the first one a titch off stride as long as I was sending him into it.
If I saw he wasn't going to hit it from the perfect spot and then tried to collect him back up, he inevitably got into an even more awkward distance and then struggled a bit to roll through them.
Strange voodoo magic, the forward ride...
He's been loving life lately with all the easy yet interesting learning he's doing. We did our weekly stretchy ride this morning (#nailedit), and I picked up the canter at the very end to let him finish over an X for funsies. Off a looooong approach, he maintained his steady canter and got to the jump right in stride. Only instead of jumping it he just cantered right over.
Dopie says Snooze Fest. Give him real jompies.
|and moar snacks. because clearly this hippo is starving.|