Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Picture Time!

Before I so rudely jetted out of town for the week, I got Ellie to take a ton of pictures of the grudgingly-consenting Cuna and never shared most of them with you. If we're facebook friends and you've already seen them, bear with me. Now you get the inside story, which is of course more exciting and interesting.
Cuna has approved this blog

I think it actually took less pleading and manipulating than last time to get some decent candid shots. Maybe Cuna did want a less-emotional less-photo-obsessed boy, but as long as his girl feeds him lots of cookies, he'll cope.

Ellie caught us at an incredibly opportune time--since coming back from Utah, we'd launched into a two week jumping intensive. That kind daily consistency really helps Cuna maintain some flexibility through his whole body.

The ever stylish "pony nose" pose

We start out on a reasonably long rein. After 5-10 minutes walking (need to let the old man limber up), we move into the trot. This is when the warm up starts to differentiate based on the workout I have planned. If we're jumping or doing some dressage figures, I keep a light contact and work on engaging his hind end through small circles and changes of bend.

If we're doing a recovery day after a hard workout (hills or jumping lesson), we stay on big, sweeping turns and focus on a steady rhythm and lots of stretching.

At first, I don't pick up much contact--I want the emphasis on going forward in balance. We roll into the canter and let him clear his lungs while I stay off his back.

We do a couple of simple changes to make sure all his legs are stretched out and then we go forward and back a few times to make sure all the buttons are working.

Ok, First jump. We'll get there.

Then it's time to start jumping. I like to pick a single vertical with a short approach and a long backside. That forces me to spend more time worrying about the line after the jump than before. My current rule for myself is to never actually look -at- a jump. I look at the line behind it.

I am working towards being competent and supportive all the time, but let's face it: I'm new at this (jumping well). We generally puke over the first one or two and then I get myself sorted out. Hands in mane? Check. Leg on? Check. Eyes up? Check. Ride the line. Let Cuna do his job.

Not the highest jump, but I love our expressions
Once I've figured out how to ride forward to my fences and concentrate on the line after, we're golden. Then I can canter him down lines, hold for a deep spot, and jump in fine form.

In addition to my new found focus on the backside of the jump, I am now jumping primarily at 2' and above. While I'm perfectly happy to piddle over crossrails, Cuna tends to trip on them. He really jumps best around 2'6" and up. Maybe I'll even conquer my weird oxer phobia. At the rate we're going, crazy things can happen.


  1. So skinny you look. All the skinnies! :D Oh, and Cuna looks good too.

    1. Cuna makes my butt look good. He is the perfect horse.

  2. I love you both, and totally believe in you :) I know I say it all the time, but you and the Cuna-fish are perfect for each other. It isn't hard to get good pics of you guys because really, you don't have to pose or act fake to look awesome. You just are.

  3. Looking good! Good attitude to look beyond the jump. That's going to help a lot.

  4. The pictures look awesome and you have made such a great progress! You should be proud!

  5. Yeah, you both look great! And like you're having fun! =D

  6. You guys look great! I love Cuna's expression. :D


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...