Monday, February 7, 2011

Restful Weekends

Izzy and I had a nice jump school in the outdoor on Friday. I set a 2' vertical, then would not let myself get off and put it down to a crossrail even when it looked big. I kept reminding myself that despite her greeness, this is small potatoes to Izzy and I'm the one who needs to get over it.

Let me just say: I love my horse. She hasn't jumped a vertical since November, but she was in no way concerned about that teeny little fence that looked massive to me. I somewhat over-rode her into it the first time--about a stride out, I was like, "Oh sh*t jump!!" and I have no idea what my body did. Izzy just trotted up and plopped over it. I don't know what I would do without her.

Then I was able to reorganize. Ok, balance over my feet. Hands forward. Heels down. Steady pace. DON'T STARE AT THE JUMP. Leg on... and over she went. We cantered it a couple times, too. I really need to do this more often and set some placing rails so she and I can get used to seeing out distance better. Not that it matters at this height. She can and will jump it from a stride out (though she ignores me when I tell her to go too early). As we move up, though, it will become dangerously unsafe to be taking super long spots like this.

I am left wondering how in the world Izzy, who has probably jumped a total of about 20 times ever, is a total bomb-proof school master at this. She must get it from her super amazing mother, because I see the jump and am like, "OMG MUST DO SOMETHING" and generally do something stupid and wrong. She just goes straight(-ish), maintains a steady pace, and then jumps smoothly. Oh, and then calmly canters away as I scrape myself off her neck.

We will continue to work towards improvement in that area--I am doing lots of two point to help solidify my lower leg and teach myself where my balance point is. In our weekly rotation of disciplines, we switch back and forth between jumping single fences and doing some little gridwork to help teach her about her footwork and allow me to focus on staying straight and not falling off.

Here's Izzy on Saturday. There was a large collection of boarders out riding since it was the first nice day of the year. Most of the ones who were out are those who don't ride much in the winter, so their horses were a mix of out of control and disrespectful, so I thought it was best to just let Izzy have a day to chill in the turnouts. She certainly didn't mind.

I'm sure most of you who have boarded know what I'm talking about... Only one person was riding in the outdoor, since it was super windy, but that person is a dangerous rider on a pissed off horse. Oh, and periodically, he just gets off the horse and walks away. You know, to hang with the ladies in the indoor. Yes, AND LEAVES HIS HORSE TACKED AND UNSUPERVISED.

Not my favorite person to ride with, to say the least. Happy mare didn't mind. She got yesterday off completely since I had no time between morning commitments and the superbowl. Can't wait to get back out today.


  1. Glad your ride went so well. About those boarders - some people just have no sense and I wish they didn't have horses. Sigh . . .

  2. Izzy must be a natural jumper :)

    ... Another reason i'm glad there are very few places to board in NZ.

  3. Izzy sound just lovely! And your jumping position sounds much like mine ;) Got to love our patient horses, who are probably rolling their eyes over every jump. They are probably thinking "I love my Mom but man she cannot jump".

  4. You'll get a handle on jumping. Just give yourself some time to build your confidence and your skills. A steady girl like Izzy is just the teacher you need!!

    It's always hard dealing with other boarders. Everyone seems to ride differently and it's hard to read their minds to figure out what they're doing. It think turnout for Izzy was the best idea for that day.

  5. Izzy sounds like a great horse to build confidence with. I can't believe some boarders thou. I worked at a barn for awhile and it got entirely too chaotic. But leaving a horse tacked up and unsupervised is a recipe for disaster. Did anything happen? I wonder if his horse rolled on his saddle to teach him a lesson. But it's unfair that the horse's well being gets put at risk by some stupid people.

  6. This is what I'm focusing on right now (or, rather, attempting to): focus on the quality of the canter and don't obsess about finding your distance. Coming from the h/j world where we're taught to "place" our horses, this is a bit of a hard concept for me to grasp, but it makes sense; an eventing horse needs to be able to find his own distance, so we need to teach him to place himself instead of constantly relying on his rider to find the distance. And, hey, The Woff can't be wrong!! :-)
    Yay, Izzie!


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