Saturday, November 12, 2011

I couldn't help it!

I give in to peer pressure way too easily. Red got rudely yanked out of his temporary retirement to test out the new cross country jumps. He was not impressed, especially since dinner time was right around the corner.

He made sure to show his displeasure and the fact that he hadn't been ridden in two weeks by being the naughty Thoroughbred he was when I first got him off the track. I rode him fittingly, and though it can be a little nerve-wrecking to trot around with a loose rein on a horse that's trying to take off with you every other stride and hopping up and down in place, our motto at the Contessa barn was "The shorter you ride, the shorter you stay on." (Which is perhaps why myself, the other female rider, and the 6' tall rider never had the siren go off for us and our two midget riders did.)

Because Red was such a fruit loop, we did ten solid minutes of trotting as soon as we got out to the field, then took several long walks around the field to show that we were not out here to be crazy town. After I was feeling a little more confident in his saneness, I trotted him over the smallest jumps in the field a few times, just making sure he had brakes and was listening to me. He was a little overzealous the first few times, but finally got the hint that being chill was a good thing.

"i am cuhraaazy!"

it's hard work being so naughty.
In our jumping, I have found a new, serious weakness in Red. He has no idea how to jump uphill. No idea. He spent quite some time in training with Nick Zito who trains a lot of his horses in draw reins, so when Red gallops, or thinks he should be galloping, his chin gets superglued to his chest and nothing short of serious yanking will bring it back up. Which is no good when he's not paying attention to anything in front of him until....wait! There's a jump two inches from my face! So that was an uphill battle today (Buh duh bump.) that we'll have to continue working on.

He was also not very interested in trotting to any of the bigger fences, witnessed mostly when trying to jump the oxer. He would not trot up to it! He was far more interested in going at a head-long canter that was more leaping up and down than actually cantering. I finally did a few laps around the field and got him going fairly well, but even then, a few strides out he leapt into the canter and got us into a hot mess over the jumps.

not going straight, and definitely not trotting.

look at you, fancy dressage horse. now please carry that to
your jumping approach!

you're doing it wrong.

we actually look fairly put together here. pictures are flattering.

I knew I had to do the trakhener before we ended to make this craziness worth it, but I was really freaking myself out.

"be brave, red stallion."
"whatev, mom. doesn't bother me any."
It was a slight uphill approach, so I really pushed Red up to it and he kept his silly head off the ground to actually give me a pretty good approach. I, however, did nothing at all to help him and two strides out I felt him start to falter and called out to Hubby, "He's not going to jump it!" To which Red took great insult and went right over....though as you can see in the picture, upon landing I think he was as surprised as I was he went over.

"wtf did i just jump?!"
"zomg, we're alive!"

As soon as he landed, I bent down to give him a huge pat, putting the reins in one hand, and he promptly took off with me. I put his head behind my knee and got him pulled up shortly, but needless to say we were both done after that. We were alive, he didn't refuse a single fence, and he was ready for dinner.

It took me a good twenty minutes to curry him to shininess again; even though he wasn't hot or out of breath, he was so sweaty from being a nervous nelly and quite fuzzy. The clippers are going to have to come out next month. Bummer. I hate clipping. But who doesn't?

the hounds showing off their jump.

1 comment:

If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.