Monday, June 18, 2012

Finding Our Groove

Schooling bonnet. Don't judge.
Cuna and I had a jump day on Friday. He was going well over single verticals, so I took him through the grid someone else had set that was a bounce to a bounce to a one stride to a one stride to a bounce.

It started with an inviting little crossrail. I trotted in like it was just a cross rail. He gave me the "this-looks-like-more-than-one-jump-but-if-you-say-so" trot in. We landed in a heap and he went, "OH MY GOD ANOTHER ONE" and LEAPED the next crossrail.

That landed us right at the base of the following vertical, with Cuna's nose almost literally on the ground and me seriously considering grabbing his ears.  Cuna couldn't believe there was ANOTHER ONE! We took another flying leap, at which point I thought we should pull out and try again. We jumped a single vertical with a bit more pace (Mr Cuna was GALLOPING away from the jump, reminding me that while he can save my butt, he prefers that I sit up and ride).

When we came again, I gave him a better ride, kept both legs on, and we made it through the grid.

That brings us to today. The same grid was still set with a couple more verticals scattered in the arena. I was just planning on having a nice, easy flat school until I heard rumors that we were going XC schooling tomorrow, which means I need to get myself into gear a little.

Again, we warmed up over the little verticals.

Official canonization soon
I couldn't see a distance to save my life. There are marks in the sand where I'd canter down to the fence, then have him take off half a stride away. I tried having less pace. I tried having more. I tried changing the line I came in on. I tried jumping an angle. Everything ended up in me riding like crap and Cuna totally saving my butt like the saint he is. I suspect it was the added pressure/my anxiety about jumping solid things tomorrow, but it was not going well. The only reason it wasn't dangerous is because Cuna is a solid citizen who always takes care of himself.

I dropped down to a walk. I was tired, I was riding like crap, and I needed something to change. 

I needed a reset. Almost like some sort of line of jumps set at measured distances that I already knew and therefore couldn't screw up so that we could get my act together. 


The grid was still mostly set up at the same height as last week. I picked up the canter, did a little forward and back to make sure we had impulsion, and headed for it. Jump. Jump. Jump. One stride. Jump. One stride. Jump. While we were in a rhythm, I circled around to the left, picked up the single vertical, then followed my line and caught the other. 

On a rhythm. At a decent spot. In balance. 

Good enough for me. I told Cuna what a wonderful horse he is and we meandered off to cool out around the grounds. Wish us luck tomorrow! 


  1. Good luck tomorrow! It WILL go better than last time!! Enjoy yourself!

  2. We all have days like that so don't let the pressure build! Have fun, relax as best you can, and his schooling bonnet looks good!

  3. good luck!! jumping sounds nerve wracking lol good think you have a great partner that keeps you both in check

  4. Good luck! You guys are going to do great!

  5. Have fun...seriously, that's all that matters. Don't put any pressure on yourself because you know what to do and so does Cuna. Keep your head up and your leg on and everything else will fall magically into place. :) Thinking happy thoughts for you guys!

  6. Hmmm...ok, insert my 2 cents here {cringe!}...I think maybe it's that you asked him to navigate himself through a pre-set grid? In my experience, the point of grids is the progression that occurs as you build them and add in each element, increasing the level of technicality. Giving the horse time to figure out the combination of questions as they compound on one another. I think there's probably not any issue with seeing your distance or how your riding, it might be just be the question asked rattled y'all a little :) Glad to ehar you sorted it all out though! YAY-ERS!

    1. I admit, I was lazy and cheating my way through the grid Friday. I should have taken some rails down to give him a more honest chance.

      The distance thing was a whole different day, lol. Hopefully that's fixed. I mean, it isn't even really a thing to see a "distance" at 2' fences. That's how bad it was.

    2. Ahhh, gotcha! Distances distances, we struggle too - even at 2 feet. We've been working on jumping from a little more of a runway to single fences and OMG, I just never quite know when take-off is gonna happen...I pretty much never get the same decision twice out my kid!

    3. Given his druthers, Cuna will always always always take the close spot, particularly as the fences escalate to heights that he may actually have to jump.

      So yeah. Leaping from half a stride away is all me and all wrong. He's not young and green like Pongo. He's just putting up with me screwing around.

  7. Excited to see you guys in action tomorrow!

  8. GOOD LUCK TOMORROW! HAVE FUN! Having a mental "reset" button is so crucial yet so elusive! Wonderful that you were able to do it!


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