Busy weekend! Knots and I went to Pine Hill and then got in a lesson with our jumping trainer while Gracie cut her forehead apart.
Saturday was the schooling before most of the students head to the show this weekend. I was coaching some of the students with Maggie. I took Knots so we could have a nice positive outing after the terrible ride I gave him last time we were there. We didn’t do anything that was a real stretch. We jumped almost all of the beginner novice jumps, some of the novice jumps, and played on the “mountain” and worked up and down some banks. We also played in the baby ditch.
Mostly we ended up getting some great videos, thanks to Lachlan (!), and having good rides over all the rough jumps from the show. I did shorten the running martingale and ride in a regular snaffle without spurs. I’m torn about using the same equipment at the show, or upgrading to a kimberwick. And do I need spurs? Its always the thought that its better to have and not need than not have, but I’m not sure. I think the spurs add to the drama sometimes, especially if my leg isn’t quiet. The other thing I changed was the saddle. I have an older saddle that has better knee blocks than the newer one. It needs to be reflocked like I need to win the lottery, so I’ve been cautious about using it too much, and which pads underneath it. Problems to deal with sometime this winter.
No media from the ride on Monday. We worked on adjustability between jumps. I’ve gotten lots better at shaping the canter coming into jumps, but I’m still having trouble engaging through combinations and between related distances. We worked on a 4-5(?) stride bending line, with one side bent more than the other. No big jumps, just getting a good canter and having conscious thoughts between. Knots was really good. We are still arguing about how close to the jump we can get, and I need to be a bit more bossy. He can crawl underneath the jump and still round over, and I need to be more assertive about the deep spot sometimes, instead of being ok with a leap.
When we came home, I put Knots back out in the paddock and patted Gracie’s face. I noticed her forelock was all grubby, and then I saw the cut. I pulled her out to look at it, and then we cleaned it out.
Tis but a flesh wound! She was going to be moved anyway, since she is having a bit of trouble gaining back some weight. Now she gets the isolation paddock and she has a shiny aluminum bandage over her boo boo. Sad Gracie.
Ashlynn here! Brave Jellybean had her first away-from-home show two weeks ago, at Topsider. It was a small dressage show, and she behaved like a champ—no bucks, bolts, or general baby-ish behavior. We rode the Intro B and Intro C tests, and received scores of 55 and 57.75 respectively. Score sheets are below.
The only huge issues were not being sure of walking into the shade of the covered arena, which a leg on fixed, and then not being relaxed enough to walk, which was partly my fault.
Our next show goal is Pine Hill, which we are registered for. It will consist of dressage, show jumping, and cross country and will be quite an adventure. I can’t wait! Schooling is this weekend, and hopefully we’ll have videos and pictures.
Current schedule for riding is Mon/Tues, Thurs, and then a weekend day if possible. Two dual credit classes, 2 AP classes, a high school psychology class, and cross country running doesn’t make it easy, but it happens! Special thanks to Amanda for allowing me the honor of working with Jellybean during this time in addition to being my main trainer, Maggie for transportation and training tips every now and then, Jacob for filming and funding, and Leah for supporting and also helping with transportation. None of this would happen without them!
You can watch a video Jacob made of the dressage tests at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHKnLrykUtU
This week the “exercise of the week” was bounces. Bounces are great for helping the rider to have an independent position. They also help the horse adjust their own stride. Once you’re straight, the rider has to support the horse with the leg through the line. Bounces are basically multiple jumps in a line, with no room for any cantering or trotting between the jumps. So they have to immediately jump the next jump as they are landing from the previous jump.
Gracie and Jellybean both got to be lesson ponies this week. Jellybean could be questionably described as a lesson horse on the regular, since Ashlynn takes lessons, but Gracie hasn’t really been helpful as a lesson horse, especially not with jumping.
I give you video evidence of the ponies in action, and my awful squeaky voice telling people “LEG! LEG! LEG!”
In other news, one of the other horses in the lesson ran straight into Jellybean’s butt, so hard that he bounced off of her… and she didn’t kick him. What is happening in this world?
Well we made it! This month hasn’t been the picture of productivity. It rained for a week and we felt the effects for about two. I had some really nice rides at the beginning of the month, including a great one without stirrups in the dressage saddle. I feel like it really helped me stretch out my hip flexors.
Most of the rest of the month has been projects inside the barn with minimal riding. My ponies are getting ready to make another move. We are going to pour some sand into a paddock and give the paddock life another go.
Jellybean has gotten fantastically quarter horse-looking. She has had a sleek appendix shape for so long I had gotten over the idea that she was going to look like a big ole cow horse one day…
Ashlynn is taking Jellybean to a couple of shows this weekend, Topsider this weekend, an xc schooling, and then Pine Hill in October. Jellybean’s first show. I feel a little disappointed that I’m not going to be the one to take her, but I like the partnership between Ashlynn and Jellybean, and I’ll be there watching.
Looking forward to the fall, I’m thinking about taking Knots to the Pine Hill HT in December. Redeeming ourselves from that awful show in July. Then maybe we can start looking to novice in the spring. I’m also looking into some riding instructor certifications. They are all expensive and questionably useful. But they give insurance discounts.
Robert got to test ride a new lesson horse, you probably saw the video on Instagram.
You can all look forward to a recap of the show from Ashlynn, and hopefully some more consistent posts as the heat cools off and we come inside earlier.