This weekend was a little bit more hectic, we had some work things to do and I’m still working in all my “spare” time on finishing up my degree. Nevertheless, I made it out on Saturday and Sunday. Lots of words and less pictures, sorry 😦
Saturday I worked with Knots and Jellybean! Knots got a dressage school. We worked on some of the same exercises from the last lesson: trotting figure 8s and me stretching tall. We also worked on moving off the right leg better and not running from the left leg. We had some canter work which was really good to the left, but to the right we were falling into the circle very heavily. There was some stretching, but there was also a snatch of the reins out of my hand. The most exciting part of Knots’ ride was when he actually lifted his back a little bit at the trot. Its a crazy feeling when he does it; it feels like he is suddenly lighter. I kept focusing on sitting up straight and pushing the energy from my legs and seat out in front of my hands. One day we will both be in shape to ride like this all the time.
Jellybean had a more exciting time. I groomed her and then we went to the cutting pen where a jumping chute is set up. After trying to get her to come through it on her own, I grabbed the lunge line and tried to help her figure out what I wanted. Except then she started dropping her shoulder and running into me. That had to be firmly corrected, which unfortunately was made worse by the crazy neighbors next door raining buckshot (or bird???) down on our barn, and probably the arena. Byron was really terrified too; I think he was actually shot at some point in his past life, he has some birdshot embedded in his face and paws.
Anyways, we eventually figured out how to go through the chute and I made the jump bigger and bigger. We finished out with a 2’3″ oxer, which she stopped snapping her hind end so dramatically over. Next time I’d like to have more jumps for her to think about and maybe some higher, wider things for her to practice over. Oh, and a photographer! I couldn’t coordinate the line, whip, phone, etc.
Sunday was a fun afternoon. Rob and I headed out to the barn to see the ponies with the intention of jumping Knots and riding Jellybean on the flat. Jellybean went first, and she was having quite the day. Mind wasn’t present. at. all. We spooked at the flappy-flaps on the side of the arena (banners). We spooked at the water trough. We ran across the arena just because multiple times. We watched the tin roof flap a little.
It was definitely a baby ride, and I tried to find something good. We basically managed the spooking and worked on some of the things from the last dressage lesson, ie allowing the bend, turning on the forehand, and general transitions. We finished off with a little bit of moving off the leg in an almost side-pass way.
Knots started off a little up too, but my stirrups were also like three holes shorter than I ride with on the flat, so it might have just been general challenges. Unfortunately I got too enthusiastic at the beginning of the ride and planned something too big for him to handle gymnastic wise. I set up three cross rails at 10 feet apart with a 4.5′ placing pole (oops). I should have reviewed the distances before I started. Basically the placing pole messed him up and I lost balance and we were frantic for the rest of the ride.
I imagined us trotting in and cantering with big bold ROUND jumps over the cross rails, unfortunately I got flat, frantic instead. I fixed the exercise and tried to salvage, but even with canter poles and a last cross rail, he was still very upset. We kept trying to calm down, and eventually ended with a small vertical, big X, small vertical with limited drama. Got to start out good!
Here is an example of frantic and flat with my poor position making things worse:
This was one of our smoothest jumps, but its still pretty rough. So much work on the jumping front for both of us.