Monday, August 11, 2014

Cross Country School

"But wait!" you say. "Your horse is lame, you said!" Stop boo hoo-ing, I'm saying now. The more my horse has been ridden, the better he's felt. On Friday I took him up to the outdoor so I could test out the canter in a larger space than the indoor. Without the confines of the small arena, which basically means he's constantly turning despite not riding circles, his canter was miles better. I even let him canter some piles of poles set as a small course, and he was a happy beast.

he's such a hunk right now

I had one of the junior riders w/t him for me Saturday since I wasn't going to be at the barn, but I didn't want to give him a day off either. When I gave him last Sunday off (like, not yesterday, but the Sunday before that. That made sense, didn't it?) he came out gimpy on Monday. Without getting days off this week, he's been steadily improving. He's also going to be cracked back into place tomorrow, so overall I was feeling pretty comfortable taking him up to the xc field Sunday. The jumps are small, and we stuck to the relatively flat top part of the field.

look at that luxurious tail. it's gotten so long this year!
(shut up, people with fancy tailed horses. his runty tail is getting there.)

After a nice long walk where we reveled in the fact that the stupidest filly on the planet was currently not out with the mares and therefore annoying the shit out of us, we had a good warm up where he didn't feel hitchy at all. S is currently going through a quarter life jumping crisis and is trying to rebuild her confidence. She was all, "I'm only going to jump those two tiny logs and nothing else!" I was all, "Let's jump all of these! DO IT NOW." We warmed up over the cherry log both ways, then moved on to the tiny hanging log.

first time over

Bobby was great to the cherry log, very calm, and he was fine trotting up to the hanging log the first time. Then he got very excited and had himself a wiggle fest where he was like, "JUMPING! Oh, but she wants me to trot the approach. BUT JUMPING! Maybe I can canter? Just a little? AHHH, JUMPING!!!" I tucked my fingers into my grab strap and let him sort himself out. After that I just let him canter, and while he got quick, he was at least straight.

We went up and down the baby bank several times. I worked on keeping my reins long and staying out of the pony's way while going down the bank. No issues going up.


And down:

The ditch was next. S opted out since she was still feeling confident and didn't want to wreck that, and instead pranced around on Memphis and jumped the cherry log a few more times. I had Bobby trot the ditch the first time, and he half assed his way over it. I made him canter it next, and he opted to just, you know, canter through it instead. Our ditch isn't very deep and it's currently grown up a bit, but still. He's been over it a hundred times. He knows how to do a ditch.

just jump it!

I got after him with a couple of well-timed booty smacks and he actually picked up his silly feet.

We schooled the stacked logs where Bobby wanted to get very fresh on the approach. He never stayed completely rhythmical, but at least he listened enough to remain relatively steady.

It doesn't help that he builds and builds as he continues to jump, and the jumps up here are so small that they don't back him off any. He ended with just putting in big canter strides over both the stacked logs and another solo log.

Overall it was a really good school. I did a lot of repetitions on each jump (although "a lot" is relative because I usually jump twice in a row at most before having a meandering walk break) because there's not a lot up there to work with. Bobby felt strong and willing. When we were done and back in the barn waiting our turn for the wash stall, he was resting his legs evenly between both the right and left.

really not as fat as he looks.

I can't wait for tomorrow. I'm really hoping the chiro will be able to clear up any lingering soreness he's got going on.


  1. Sounds like you had a great school!

  2. Bobby gives 0 f's about shallow ditches. He says bring on the grand canyon, you know for... JUMPING!

  3. Hope he feels better after some chiro.

  4. You're right, Robert is looking quite hunky right about now! Glad you guys had a good school, and fingers crossed for success at the chiro tomorrow :)

  5. Bobby IS a hunk right now, look at that booty!

  6. Awesome! I'm always down with a fat horse (to a reasonable degree). It's always easier to take it off than put it on!!

  7. Dr. Bob E. Magee, hunk in training. (his new title)

  8. Bobby. He's so hot right now. Bobby.

  9. HAH Sarah's comment. BUT seriously he's looking fab. I give props for tail power! (obsessed with tails)

  10. You guys look awesome. Bobby = hunk


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