Friday, February 21, 2014

Please keep your feet in the stirrups and both hands on the reins

Because when fifty degrees meets two feet of snow on a metal roof, things are bound to get hairy.

Unless, of course, you own a magical fairy princess horse who never spooks at anything because he was raised by a wild group of college kids who had nothing better to do with their time than drag baby horses all over an expansive ag school all day every day and therefore falling snow doesn't even warrant an ear flick.

"oh, hai. that's me."

I set up a jump school despite the constant avalanche crashing around the indoor because I knew Bobby isn't fazed by such nonsense. He might refuse to walk over a ground pole every now and then, but he's not spooky. I set up a two stride line--vertical to oxer--a 2' vertical on the centerline at X, and a big X on the quarter line at M.

drawn to scale.

We warmed up at the trot over the 2' vertical on the center line. He was a gem tracking right, but once we switched to the left, he trotted it once, got to a long spot from the canter (My first of many times grabbing mane this ride. I'm starting to become a really good mane grabber. I'm not sure that's a good thing or not.), and then he decided that was enough of that jump. I went to turn him and he just kept on trucking down the rail.

Me: Uh, Bobby. What happened to turning there?

Bobby: Say what? Oh, that. No, we've done that one enough. Let's do something more exciting.

Me: Bobby, you don't get to dictate what order we do the exercises in. Do it again.


Next up was the big X which he started out fine over, but got bored with that one quickly too and started bombing over it despite the ground pole. We moved on to the two stride line that started out as a cross rail to a cross rail oxer. He was also quick to show his disdain for how boring that was so I quickly knocked the X up to a 2'6" vertical and the oxer up to an ascending 2'6".

Things finally got interesting. Bobby tripped on landing over the vertical and almost face planted. He caught himself like a boss though. I kicked him on and grabbed mane, and he jumped the oxer like nothing had happened.

After that it was just a matter of sitting there and picking jumps and remaining zen about the fact that I had no brakes. At one point, I was all, "You think it's so easy to jump while running around like a freight train, Robert? Fine. Keep your speed, and turn, and jump this. And turn and jump THIS. And THIS AND THIS!"

And Bobby was all, "Okay."

Bobby wants to be a professional show jumper. Someone buy him for that.


  1. haha love the description of his desensitization training.

  2. The story about his desensitization training is pretty much how we did things at college too. Only it was a bunch of cowboys, so pretty much any horse that went through that program was rope, hat, loud truck, and drunk-broke, among other things. Two guys that where horriable drunks in my class never did get broke to coming to weekend AM class sloshed though. Oddly enough. Even though they got to ride out any colt that was acting up that day (they where both damn good riders, and the instructor was trying to make a point). I will never forget one of them riding this colt out, who was none too happy about this whole being ridden idea and was cutting bred (and it showed!). And then puking off the side before the colt went round 2. Oh, and this was about ride #3 out of the round pen, in the big indoor where the rest of us may, or may not have tried to egg the horse on. That's one of my fondest memories of college! Haha!

    And I love your tactic for getting Bobby to quit, by making him jump everything. Totally my style..only not the jumping part. But the letting them make their lives harder part.

  3. Ugh I love a desensitized horse. Probably my favorite quality because I'm known to do things that aren't exactly... traditional. (What do you mean I can't hang my vest on my horses head when I run out of hands and need her to hold it for one second?).

  4. LOL love your desensitized horse description!

    I was riding today and there was snow falling off the roof and the wind was crashing against the sides of the indoor. Miss didn't care one bit. One of the other boarders walked by, looked at me, and asked "what did you do, drug her?!"

  5. Hahaha I love your dialogues with him. It's too funny. I can just picture him saying those things to you.

  6. I love that your jumping schematic is drawn to scale.

  7. On a good note, at least you didn't have to worry about him spooking in the process of not having brakes. The dialogue seriously made me laugh!


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