Real Jumps

This is what I did Tuesday night. Woohoo, we’re ready for shows!

Oh hey, we jumped 2’8″ last night. YES! She started out a little hesitant, but made so much progress through the lesson. We ended with some really really awesome jumps. I’m so proud, and it was so fun. We are entered in a 2’6″ class at the Standardbred show this weekend, then a 2’3″-2’6″ class at a hunter show the week after that. Our jumps are starting to look like real jumps!!

Oh ya, baby!
“I did this.”
“But as much as I love bragging…there’s grass over there.”
Not a great screencap, just wanted to point out that my heal is beneath my butt 😉
Those hind legs. So cute.
I just like this screenshot for some reason.
My favorite is this, though. It’s a REAL JUMP!
Her knees aren’t up and hunter-y, but at least they’re together. She’s an eventer, anyway 😉

2’3" at an Open Show

I finally made Rob a stall sign. It’s official!

I have not been in the mood to journal lately. The stuff I’m doing at work is boring and exhausting and I just haven’t had the energy to write. BUT it’s been a fairly eventful week/weekend, so I need to catch up!

Louie and Yogi in the grass pasture!

Thursday I went out and rode bareback again (Bareback #6!). The outdoor was wet, so I was stuck in the indoor…which ordinarily is perfect for bareback, but I’m ready to move up, and I don’t feel comfortable cantering in the slippery and tight indoor.

I worked on my position more – I think it’s becoming natural, at least at the walk, for me to keep my legs beneath me instead of in front of me. Then I practiced some posting trot, which was hard work but felt really good. Then I did some pole courses, which was very fun. I tried to concentrate on controlling her shoulders and bending with my seat and legs.

I went out to take a picture of all three of them…but of course Robbye thought I was coming out to love on her ❤

Friday I was planning on staying home, since Robbye needed a day off (and so did I!), but then Julie found a local show with jumping classes, so I ended up going out to the barn anyway…to do “show prep” that I never ended up doing. Ya, I did all my show prep the morning of. It was actually pretty nice, and only took an hour and a half!

It’s been messed up at this point, but I was really happy with the way this tail braid came out.

So Saturday was show day. I got to the barn and cleaned Rob’s sock and face, clipped and trimmed, braided, vacuumed, packed, and loaded. I was nervous that the show would be a bunch of peanut rollers, but that was happily not the case. There were a couple horses there who would have given Rob some really good competition, had she done her best.

Unfortunately, she was extremely distracted (although she attempted neither bolts nor bucks!) and just did not perform as well as she should have. We warmed up perfectly, and then entered our first class – hunter x-rails. This is when she realized two things: 1. She didn’t feel like picking up her bad lead today, and 2. The poles on the jumps are plastic. UGH. So we proceeded to crash through four classes on the incorrect leads.

We did definitely have some good moments, and the video of our last class makes us look decent. This was actually the only class we didn’t get last place in. Woo!

(We also “made” $5 with our placings, so the total cost of the show was $18 for four classes. Definitely worth it.)

Oh, and I should mention that the fences were 2’3″ – another new max height!

My cool matching garment bag and boot bags. I love these so much.
Robbye’s show halter and the halter tag Julie got for us.
Robbye’s mane post-braid. So cute.

Sunday I was not in the mood and neither was Robbye, so we had a short and quiet dressage ride. We worked on our square exercise a bit and did some transitions, but we just didn’t feel like working – Instead, we stood in the shade and watched my instructor ride. I finished the ride extremely frustrated with my own lower leg, after watching hers. I just don’t understand how to keep it still while posting. I don’t get it!

Monday, Julie, Yogi, Rob and I headed to Caesar’s Creek Lake Park for a long trail ride. Overall, it was okay. There were a few awesome parts (galloping along the creek!) and one horrible part (walking along a muddy cliff with two feet falling off the edge), but overall it was just meh. I just don’t really enjoy trail riding, and I’m not yet convinced that Rob loves them either. She was much more interested in flirting with Yogi!

Tuesday Rob got the day off, and I got to clean all of my leather in preparation for our big show this weekend. I also tried to clean my cheap dressage saddle, but it didn’t get clean. This weekend I may try cleaning it with a hose…

This week is sorta lazy. Today we’re practicing 2’6″ (going to try to make it 2’7″ or 2’8″) for this weekend’s class. Tomorrow I have D&D, which means Robbye gets another day off. Friday is our lesson, as well as show prep. Saturday is the show, which means a very early start. Sunday will probably be another day off for both of us.

…Okay, maybe it’s not lazy after all. ACK!

Bareback #5

Horsie torture! I’ve been trying to find Rob a show/stable blanket for the past six months and I cannot find one that’s 1. in her size, 2. A color I like, and 3. A color she looks good in. GAH! This one is heading back to SmartPak. Another is on its way to my house. Hopefully that’ll be the one we go with – we have a show June 1 and I’d really like a blanket!
We had an amazing ride yesterday.
I didn’t feel like going out – Julie wasn’t going, and I’m cleaning Kathy’s stall this week, which meant I would have three stalls to clean, and it was pouring. Around 6:30 I finally felt like heading out. And I’m so glad I did!
I cleaned the stalls, which ended up feeling good. I like cleaning stalls for two main reasons: 1. It feels like a workout (even though it really isn’t), and 2. It’s instant gratification (dirty > clean).  So it was nice to do all three, and it didn’t take as long as I thought it would.
Next, I decided to ride bareback….and oh my gosh, was it amazing. No longer was I hanging on for dear life as we jogged around the indoor. I don’t know if it’s the practice I’ve been getting, the dressage lessons changing my seat, or just a new-found confidence, but last night I was rocking it bareback! We were actually accomplishing things – working on our square exercise, going over trot poles, and doing transitions – and I felt so secure! I even insisted that she trot out, and not jog around like a western horse. I tried to post a little, and we did some small circles (which would have scared me so much a month ago!
Plus, it was really really fun. This “goal” of riding bareback once a week is becoming less and less of a chore. I’m tempted to up the number!
Or I’ll just institute a new goal: cantering and jumping bareback! Maybe by the fall…

Lesson #2!

Well, we’ve survived another lesson!

This one was much better, and actually left me enthusiastic instead of discouraged. She mentioned that my legs looked a lot better, and that I just needed to keep practicing until it became my natural seat. Can do!

One exercise I really liked: We did a square instead of a circle, walking the corners and trotting the long sides. This forces us to work on:

  • Brevity/immediacy of transitions.
  • Keeping my leg back on downward transitions.
  • Keeping the shoulder in/up/underneath, in order to maintain control and pivot in sharper turns.
  • Keeping my eyes between Rob’s ears.
  • Pace/march of walk.

We then did the same thing, but with canter -> trot and canter -> walk transitions. EEP!

The one discouraging part, was that we had one breakdown where she didn’t want to pick up her bad lead.  It sucks, but it was bound to happen, and we got through it.

So, things to practice:

  • My position: shoulder blades together, back un-arched, thumbs up, legs back, seat tucked underneath.
  • Her position: shoulder in/tucked (helps if I hold the whip in the right hand, AHH!)
  • My cues: turn with the leg instead of the hand (pivot on the heal), support the outside rein above all when cantering, ask for a canter as the inside hind leg moves forward, ask for a canter with the inside ankle at the girth.
  • Her actions: maintain a marching, forward walk at all times, offer immediate transitions.

Hope we can work on these things tonight!

Transitions!

Julie and I rode in the outdoor last night. I worked on my position for a while, then really buckled down and asked for immediate transitions. I’m not 100% happy with where we are (with my position and with her transitions), but hopefully Michele will see some progress at our lesson tonight.
I’m already getting nervous about it. I hope it doesn’t end up depressing, like the first was. I think if we’ve made any amount of progress at all, that’ll be enough to keep my positive.
I hope.

Julie and Puddy