Thursday, February 18, 2016

Training Ride/Lesson/Did we just jump shit?

Usually Thursdays roll around and I'm super excited for BM to get on Bobby and make him jump the jumps like a sane-ish horse. Today, however, I was kind of jealous she got to ride my horse. I gave him a dressage school Monday, but other than that, I hadn't done more than sat on him and frolicked in the snow in more than a week. I'd turned fifteen horses out in two feet of fresh snow one by one after carrying out hay and water buckets to five different paddocks the day before, so I really should have been thankful that I was able to move someone else was going to have to use copious leg muscles to get my horse forward.

but it was so pretty!

In the end I did get to ride my horse after all, and I absolutely had a little cry about how weak I was. But then so did BM and Bobby. Tired kids unite, yo.

Today's jumping was super easy in theory. There were only two cross rails, one on each side of the ring. The goal was to get some flow going. Go forward, Bobby, and jump the jumps from a normal distance at a normal pace!

I warmed Bobby up on the flat since BM was still feeling crippled from digging the barn out all day Tuesday, and then she was able to get on and get right to work over fences.

They started off on the right lead which is currently the stronger lead for him (I know. What fucking sorcery is this?), and he really didn't do too much wrong. He was a bit on the forehand the first couple jumps, but quickly got his shit together and went to work. Pretty quickly they changed directions and went to the left.

We've been dealing with Bobby wanting to always land on the right lead, especially when he gets tired and wants to default to his stronger lead (Sorcery!). Today he was consistently landing on the left lead after every single jump. BM was working hard on creating more bounce in his canter--activating those hind legs, lifting the front end, and adding some jump to his otherwise flat striding.

He was doing so good, she soon got off and told me to get on him. These were super big cross rails, but they were still just cross rails, so the actual jump itself didn't scare me. My mind did go right to anticipating him charging the jump, or biffing the distance so badly that we crashed again.

aliens spotted! oh, wait. those are just other horses.

BM had us start off at the trot which we did pretty well.

At the canter, we spent some time on a circle recreating the bounciness before heading into the jump. She had me shorten my reins up significantly so my arms weren't having to do so much--just go with the flow and follow him over the fence. She told me to keep a feel of his mouth over the jump and not give him such a generous release. He likes to know you're up there and with him over jumps, and I run the risk of catching him in the mouth on landing if he lands in a heap and I've chucked my reins away in the air.

To the left, things went okay. She talked me through every stride leading up to the jump, telling me when to half halt, making sure I then released the half halt, and when to just stop doing anything and let it happen.

To the right, the approach down one side was really long. I was for sure convinced there was no fucking way in hell this horse was going to come around the corner and canter almost the entire length of the long side without blasting into orbit and hauling ass to the jump.

Um, he did none of the above. He cantered along, took the half halt, and waited until I closed my leg before moving up to the jump. Now that is some fucking sorcery!

BM had to coach me a little more this way because I couldn't quite make myself believe he'd continue being sane. "Now let go of the half halt and sit. Don't panic. Don't panic. Just sit. Good! Awesome! No, now don't let him die on you. Kick him forward! I don't care what lead he's on or if you want him to trot. He can do both of those things by going forward!!"

BM is the best for crazy me and my crazy horse.

She hopped back on him to take him over a little Swedish oxer a few times, but the britches was tired and wasn't nailing it. We let him be done anyway because dealing with that snow made the whole barn comatose today.

when the snow's so deep you don't even want to walk all the way to your hay.

We talked about looking into getting his hocks done this spring. He's not old, but he has such shit conformation behind and he's being asked to sit on his butt ten thousand times more with the work we're doing both on the flat and over fences that a little juice might make his life easier. We'll see what the vet says when she comes out for vaccines.


  1. Dude the progress you and Robert have been making with your BM is amazing!

  2. Your BM is so good for you, it genuinely makes me happy to read it. Rock on!

  3. I'm so glad your BM has helped you & Roberto so much!

  4. So excited to hear about your successes! So happy that you have a great cheerleader right now!

  5. wooo yay jomping!! one trainer told me once to count my half halts out loud to her - reason being that i thought i was half halting when i really wasn't, or i'd start the half halt but never released. somehow actually saying it out loud made it more obvious (to both of us) whether i was actually doing the thing or not

  6. Hehe- tired people unite. I had a small cry a few weekends ago and told my trainer not to worry- I had cried the day before at work.

  7. yay for not dying and Bobby being good!

  8. Wow, BM is really making changes. Bobby may even stick around long enough to do a show season and have you enjoy it at this rate! Sounds like she is exactly what the two of you have needed for guidance.

  9. Awesome!!! :D Your BM sounds wicked.

  10. Wohoo! That is so me in the last pic "well I guess this is how I die" lol


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