Some delayed news of progress

Confession time: I have been a complete slacker. The weather has been perfect, and I have been spending all my spare time with the barn family and riding as many ponies as I can get my butt onto. And so I present to you a long overdue update on all the fun things we have done in the last couple of weeks.

Knots:
Knots and I have been spending some extra time together in a couple of jumping lessons around Memorial Day weekend. Thursday we went to Leaning Oaks Farm and had a jumping lesson with Amanda Merritt. It was pretty fun. She started with a two jumps, one stride apart. She started with trot poles to an X and then moved it to a crossrail, one stride, 2’6″ oxer. Clearly I have been putting on my big girl pants. After we jumped that without completely awful form, we worked on a course of about 6 jumps set to 2-2’3″ (I think). Then we schooled in the water, walking/trotting through and then jumping up and down a very small bank/log.

That was our warm up, and then on Monday we went down to Pine Hill and schooled out there with Amanda. Knots and I definitely brought our big girl pants, because we jumped everything with minimal fuss. We jumped lots of logs and then up and down a small bank and then a 2′ bank/drop. We also jumped a BN trakehner and a couple of lines. We cantered through the water and jumped some brush boxes. Definitely a confidence booster. Knots is really trying to be point and shoot, he just needs me to help him keep pace and not fall off haha. No pictures because my lovely assistant was working.

Gracie:
Gracie and I had a schooling ride over the weekend through a surprise bout of allergies. We went out to the jump field and worked over some fences. She was fairly squirrly with me, which I haven’t seen her do with Robert. I have a lot of ideas about why this may be, including poor hand placement and a shorter leg. Either way, we managed to figure it out. I have a couple of stills and a video of our last jump.

This was a great jump, I stole the still from the video posted below.

She looks awesome here, jumping over an 18″ X…. Clearly I got left far behind.

And last but not least, Jellybean!

I have slowly been coming to the realization that Jellybean is no longer not broke. She is officially green broke. I have still been taking it very slow with her, and its definitely time to see how well she can hold herself together. So I rode her in the cutting pen without assistance. She was not very good, she didn’t want to move off my leg and I ended up in a kick war. I knew this was not a sustainable plan, so I found a stopping point and tried again the next day. I rode with a dressage whip this time, and had much better success! She was actually paying attention and giving me reasonable transitions. She still didn’t want to go in certain parts of the cutting pen, and she spooked at the leaves rustling, then she spooked when she stepped funny. Either way, we walked and trotted. Then I decided to push it and she how she would canter. Boom. Quiet and uneventful.

The next day I took her into the large arena and hopped right on. She was a little excitable and wanted to trot off and around. She made that decision, so I kept her trotting until she was very tired of trotting and then I started my little walk/trot/canter practice. I haven’t been working her hard, just until she does what I ask. And that hasn’t taken very long yet.

A couple days later I rode her in the large arena again, and this time she was even more responsive. She is starting to want to turn and go where I ask, and I am not having to nag her to move off my leg. She knows how to back up, and she is starting to learn how to stop better. All in all, exciting things happening everywhere! I linked the video of her w/t/c both directions from Sunday.

Basically, everything is going extremely well on the pony front. We are planning to go to an event on July 6th and then looking at some dates in the fall. Looks like we have awesomeness going on all fronts!

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