Jellybean meets new friends, and teaches some fun lessons

Jellybean has been meeting some new people the last few weeks. First she got to meet Maggie’s son C. He does tie down roping (calves), and I was talking with him about how I thought Jellybean might eat calves for breakfast. There was a meme that brought this conversation up:

I think it could fit Jellybean. Anyways, he rode her around on the flat and was really impressed with how smart she was. They were playing around with learning to spin. I think he could ride her and help her be cool with just about anything. Teenage boys are good for horses in that way.

A couple weeks later, one of the boarders was discussing her horse’s impending tie back surgery (roaring is a very interesting topic for later). I mentioned that Jellybean wasn’t doing a lot, and she could be an option for a back up horse while Finn recovers. And so it happened.

Sydney will be riding Jellybean beginning when Finn goes in for surgery on October 10th, and until Finn is recovered enough for regular work. So far, they have had a bit of a learning curve getting to know each other.

Sydney first rode Jellybean in a make up lesson out in the dressage arena during twilight. Jellybean was mostly doing ok, not super responsive and not super spooky. Unfortunately she picked up on Sydney’s nerves about riding a new horse. One of the habits Sydney is working through in lessons is a tendency to hold onto the reins unnecessarily. Jellybean really hated the tight reins. She tried to do right, as this is part of a cue for backing up. But the pressure didn’t stop when she backed up.

She did a couple of baby bucks and caught Sydney off guard. There were broken reins involved…

They finished out the night, but there was a lot of angst involved. I had some extra time on Saturday evening, and met up with Sydney at the barn. First we worked in the round pen. I reminded Jellybean that she knew what to do in there, then Sydney mounted sans reins. I tied those up. Then we worked on sitting up at the trot and canter without leaning or pulling on anything.

It went pretty well, so we went out to the jump field for some practice with reins in hand and then some trot jumps. Jellybean was much more attentive when the reins gave her enough room to carry her head in its natural position. She wasn’t very lazy either. She mostly moved forward promptly. Anyways. Pictures over jumps. Jellybean wasn’t really trying, which is ok. She didn’t stop, and she didn’t try to run out, except for one time when Sydney changed tracks.

This is my favorite picture.

Jellybean actually jumped this one, too bad I cut off Sydney’s head.

I think this will be beneficial all around. Syndey gets to ride a horse with a low neck, Jellybean gets to be ridden by another person, and I can focus on Knots and this October horse trials.

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