Jellybean Canters a Jump

Updates are few and far in between when real life gets in the way. In any case, I got to ride Jellybean twice this weekend.

Friday afternoon ended up being a bit of a drama that ended well. I got the barn with just enough daylight for a short schooling ride, hopefully over fences. I grabbed Jellybean, tacked up and was just about ready to get on when I noticed some loose horses. It turns out one of the more mischievous horses had broken a snap on a gate and let himself and two others out to frolic. Sadly, I put Jellybean in the round pen, already tacked up, and went to help.

Twenty minutes later, I walked to the round pen to see the saddle sitting sideways and Jellybean covered in sand. I had a mini-freak out as I worried that the tree of the saddle was broken. Luckily it wasn’t, and I tried to calm down and get into a good mindset to work with a baby horse as I lunged her around.

I mounted up as the last bit of daylight faded and I was forced to ride in the dressage arena. Not my plan… Anyways we had some solid work. We practiced twenty meter circles at the trot and canter. Jellybean was trying to move off the leg sometimes, but we still have a lot of work to do. Its funny though, because the difference in working with a green horse as compared to a resistant horse is very evident in the progress. I think Jellybean in month 1.5 is where Knots was in month 2-3, depending on whatever variables matter.

On Saturday, I was determined to jump Jellybean, and so I got to the barn much earlier and brought Robert along as help. We warmed up a little bit in the round pen again, and Jellybean impressed me with her responsiveness to verbal commands. Whip is backup, not primary for sure. We went into the jump field and warmed up at the walk and trot before moving into the canter.

The only sticky point was moving off the right leg. She didn’t want to move over one bit. I had on spurs for motivation, and she just didn’t care. I kept at it, but we didn’t have a very successful run of it. Eventually I got to a place where we could end happily and let her have a long rein for a few minutes.

Robert set up a 12″ish cross rail, and we trotted over it a few times, then I got a wild hair and asked him to set up a small vertical. We trotted over it a couple of times. The best part was that Jellybean actually looked for the jump as we made turned toward it. She perked her ears forward and went right over. This is a great sigh!

We ended by cantering a few times over the vertical. The placing pole was too close, but she managed to figure out her feet. I was trying to offer forward guidance only, I didn’t pick spots or keep much contact, just kept her moving along. I was really pleased. Here’s the video:

Anyways, I’m thinking about taking her to the December 20th Derby. Its a 2′ division, but I’d like to school her over some cross country jumps first. Looks like the field will be all I get a chance to practice before hand. Cross your fingers it drains sometime.

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A bit of a break

Quick announcement: Are you following the Facebook page? I post lots of extra pictures there and sometimes interesting links or videos. 
After the show, I kind of abandoned poor Knots. Although, who are we kidding. He lives in the pasture with grass and basically no riding… What more could a horse want?
Life is getting pretty crazy right now, and since I was making so much time for show prep, I kind of got out of whack with the working side of the equation. After the show, I basically worked all the time for a couple of weeks, then took a vacation to NC to watch my bestie get married. 
Then I came back and was completely exhausted trying to be on a schedule and daylight savings time and blah. 
So here we are, a month later. I actually rode Knots on Monday, bareback. I don’t know if that counts or not. 
As a funny aside, I didn’t get in touch with our dressage trainer for any of that off time. I did send her a text and give her an update, which basically said no shows until degree finished. She responded with something to the effect of… I figured you’d get back to real life after the show. I find that amusing for some reason. Mostly because I appreciate that she doesn’t stop talking to me when I am extremely inconsistent. 
In other news, I had some real talk about what I am doing with 2.5 horses and how I can get at least one of them a regular job. I really love both Knots and Jellybean, but I don’t actually have time to ride both, so I need to figure something else out. We were talking about getting Jellybean to a couple of shows and then leasing her to a pony clubber or student. I can take her to the GAG show in December and run goldilocks at Pine Hill this winter. Then we can talk about who. 
I like this idea. I definitely don’t want to sell Jellybean, but I want to push along with Knots and see where we get. In the meantime, Jellybean is 4.5 years old and its time to start doing something. 
She thinks this talk is dumb by the way :p