Monday, March 7, 2016

Straight Rails

After two days off, I busted a Bobby out and threw down one balling dressage school. I was going to have Hubby come out and get some jumping media, but he was stricken with the Man Flu and was therefore unavailable to do anything but moan and whimper on the couch all day. Sad story, Hubby. No, I don't know how my usual two hours at the barn turned into over four...

Bobby started our ride off super distracted by everything.

Is that hay being fed?
Is there a horse outside?
Did someone open the gate?
Did someone close the fate?
Is there a horse in the aisle?
What is the vet doing?
I love the vet. Vets give cookies and hugs to good ponies. I'm a good pony. I bet she'd give me some cookies. Let's go visit.
What's that horse over there doing?
What's this noise?
What's that noise?

OMG, Bobby. Stop.

"stop stifling my creativity and independence."

I finally got him sort of consistently cruising around at the trot with a long neck while not falling on the forehand. We moved on to the canter where the left lead has been a bit of a struggle bus lately. He wants to drop his shoulder and motorcycle around, so every ride I do the battle of getting him to stuff his left hind underneath him and make his front half straight instead of falling over sideways. It's not pretty, but it makes everything afterwards pretty.

After a quick walk break, we started in on real work. Sometimes I feel like my goal for this year is kind of delusional and not going to happen. Days where I can't get him off my left rein, can't get him to lengthen without flinging his head in the air and shooting sideways, and/or can't get him to sit and use himself anymore than a semi-fancy Intro horse. 

But on Sunday he was on point for where we're at with our training. We did a lot of work on the half pass since we started to learn that at this point last year before moving, eventing, and getting injured crossed it off the board. It still needs more bend and polish--a lot of polish--but he's staying relaxed through it, and he gets the general idea. I'm sure if I actually knew how to ride it better, he'd get it in an instant.

The counter canter work was flawless, the medium canter was actually reaching instead of just going fast, and overall he's just getting so much stronger in collected work and finding it so easy now (when not not finding it easy of course). 

best friends.

I did get my jump school in today. There was a single vertical at 2' set up in the ring when I got there and a bounce of verticals. I kicked the bounce out to a 30' two stride and left the verticals at 2'6" (in) and 2' (out). For the first time since smashing my head, I didn't warm up over a cross rail! There were no cross rails to be found anywhere! #sobrave #relativelyspeaking

Of course, I started to get into my head about how there were no cross rails, and dang, does that 2'6" vertical look big to anyone else, but I shut that down and focused on warming up. Bobby was still feeling his dressage chops from the day before and was super light and fluffy in the bridle. 

We started off cantering (!!) to the single vertical first. I was like, "OMG, you R going TOO FAST!" and gave a giant half halt so Bobby came back to the trot. But then I was like, "No, SO BRAVE, canter the jump!" and put my leg back on so Bobby picked the canter back up and calmly loped over it. 

BM was sweeping outside the ring, so I stopped to tell her she'd trained my horse too well and now I don't know how to ride this thing that listens to cues all the time. She said, "Stop going so slow, you need to RIDE BETTER, Carly. Now make him push through his turns and stop dying before fences." Ugh, BM. No going fast!

We worked over the single for awhile with zero fear on my part. I do, however, have to get comfortable building up the pace again. I have to trust that the speed we come in at is the speed Bobby's going to stay at unless I half halt and then he'll just go slower. Basically, go good fast, and the good fast will stay at good fast and not turn into bad, charging, racing, out of control fast.

I swear that makes sense. 

other best friend.

I finally worked up the balls to come around to the two stride. I knew I was actually going to have to get a real canter going because Bobby is fully capable of stuffing three strides into any two stride. We came in pretty well, and Bobby calmly cantered through in an easy two and put in a canter stride over the 2' jump out both times we did it.

Meanwhile, I was up on his back flailing around like a complete beginner, trying decide if we had enough pace, or too much pace, or add leg, or no leg, or whoa, or are we all going to die?! 

Who is this trained jumping horse? We've had a complete role reversal. I've become the total green bean idiot, and he's the packer ignoring my lack of decision making. He's turned into the horse I need to rebuild my confidence over fences, even though he's the asshole that wrecked it in the first place. Now we need to meet in the middle and both be competent.

one step closer to real trail riding.
now to get rid of all the mud!


  1. Poor Bobby, too much going on to focus. I mean, there was a possibility of COOKIES.

  2. So stoked about your good ride! JUMP ALL THE THINGS! Sounds like you AND Bobby are really benefiting from taking a step back and getting to work on yourselves:)

  3. Wow that sounds like a real winner of a jump school. Who would have thought Bobby would be rebuilding your confidence after doing such a thorough job at shattering it? Go Bobby, use your powers for good instead of evil!

  4. Does Bobby ever not think another horse is his best friend? Or, at least, potential best friend?

    1. Nope. And that's why he went through three paddock changes when I moved him to this barn so we could find him a best friend that didn't eat him when he wouldn't get the hint that not everyone is actually his bestie.

    2. That is adorable! Tucker makes best friends in the whole wide world with every horse he meets too. Finding him one that doesn't want to murder him after a couple days of all his extremely forward and sometimes abrasive "friendship" is the real challenge.

  5. I'm really proud of you for shushing the voices that said the vertical looked too big and you were going too fast. Well done lady. :)

  6. aww good bobby! and your description of feeling like a green bean beginner jump rider sounds an awful lot like how i feel every jump course lol

  7. Where did this horse come from? What is this craziness?

  8. Awww Bobby makes me laugh. He seems to have such a character.

  9. Best Friend #1 is an unusual color. Glad you are slowly getting your jumping confidence back! It's so hard once it gets shaken, getting it back sometimes requires you to lie to yourself "I totally got this, not going to die" but then clearly at the same time you are telling yourself that you also know that you are lying to yourself...

  10. This is seriously the best thing I've read so far this week!! SO awesome that you are conquering your crazy brain, and that Bobby is becoming just the guy you need. :)

  11. Bobby as a trained packer. The mind boggles.

    Also, when are you gonna to second level, hmmm?

    1. June! That's when show season starts up here in the arctic tundra.

  12. Yay! Way to go Carly and Bobby!

  13. Nice job Bobby! Once you get a little trust back y'all will be just fine! Great school!

  14. I think Spud and Bobby would be the bestest friends ever.


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