Sunday, December 30, 2012

Schoolmaster at Work

Only the cutest horse ever
Due to it being miserable yesterday (like25f and windy), I put off going to the barn until the late afternoon. One of Steph's more advanced clients was there, and because she is freaking insane a nice person she offered to help Cuna and I with some jumps. I tacked him up in a hurry, threw his quarter sheet on, and did the world's shortest warm up as I slowly lost feeling in my feet.

The exercise was a crossrail with placing poles down the center of the arena, right hand rollback, single crossrail, left hand rollback, single crossrail. Pretty simple, especially at this height. My giant schoolmaster didn't even have to leave the ground for any of the "jumps".

Attempt #1: Cuna was sticky over the crossrail with poles, but I kicked on and we made it. I let him canter away from it and towards the next crossrail. He got long and flat, I got disorganized, and I think we had one straight stride headed towards it. I pushed my hands into his mane, gave him a kick, and realized that I was quickly running out of runway as my hands slid towards his ears.

The sucker stopped at a crossrail that he could have stepped over.

I couldn't be mad--after all, the approach was genuinely horrible and he just stopped square in the middle.

We circled around again. I established a quality canter. I send him forward, brought him back, kept him up, stayed in the middle, and settled to the "fence".


Wha? Grrrr. I kicked him to tell him it was naughty, but our coach for the day had me leave the jump alone. We did some more canter work, added some transitions, and then headed back to the first crossrail. Cuna felt more alive, more ready, more forward. We cantered through the whole pattern with no problems.

Then she made the first X a grid (bounce to a one stride) and jacked all the singles up to 2'9". I made sue I had Cuna balanced and prepared. He jumped through the grid like a champ, took an excellent canter, and the singles were like clockwork.

Hacking in the snow
Oh Cuna, I <3 you. Yes, he -could- have stepped over that crossrail and let me get away with an insufficient warm up on a very cold day coupled with a bad approach. He could have, but he didn't. Because I fixed the warm up and improved the approach over crossrails, it was just perfect over jumps. What a stud.

DON'T FORGET!!!! Tomorrow at midnight is the deadline to enter our 'Tis the Season photo contest. 
Winner announced in early January!


  1. It's been "cold" here, too. I don't lunge very often as my boys don't usually have any wiggles to work out, but this last few days I have used the lunge line simply to warm them up. I feel bad making them pack me on their cold backs so I've been lunging so they can warm up. Rushing the warm-up, as you said, doesn't get anything accomplished. Even after lunging, they still some time to get organized, but at least they're more ready than before!

  2. Cuna is the perfect schoolmaster. That was very clever of him and I love how he has a "safe" stop. His lessons are good ones.

  3. What a gem - he's such a smart boy. I love how his stops are fair and not dirty.

  4. I love reading about the jumping exercises you and Cuna do! Sometimes I get stuck in a rut with mine, and I love getting ideas from you guys. :)

  5. Nothing like a good horse to teach you to be a good rider.

  6. This reminds me of that cartoon with the pony that says "I politely refuse to participate in this activity today." Something like that. I love horses like Cuna who can tell you when you need to step up, but they do so without being dangerous or mean.

  7. Too cold to ride here...brrr. Cuna is keeping you on your toes ;)

  8. haha Christmas present in disguise? :)

  9. I missed reading your blog! Not going to leave a comment everywhere but I just read the last several posts and got a little caught up. You and Cuna look awesome!

  10. LOVE when they tell on you! I'm weird that way...;)


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