Wednesday, April 9, 2014


After our super kick-ass flat school, it was time to jack my stirrups up and try leaving the ground. Because the photo smorgasm of awesome continues, Redheadlins and Alyssa came out to play as well. C-rage and I did a quick warm up, then headed to our (tiny) fences.

We started with a wee tiny crossrail with placing poles before and after. I like the poles particularly because they give him a very visual reference for what his feet are supposed to be doing. He is a super quick learner and I think his pole-related stress is getting a little better, because he trotted right in...

He's got this
...and then cantered out softly.

So good.

such cute knees
Then we aimed for the slightly larger crossrail with a little fill.

He's still just cantering over the teeny little jumps, but he's so darn cute when he does it. It makes me smile when I can just point and shoot and the two of us feel confident together.

And again, cantering away on a loose rein.

I don't know whether it was the cross country clinic or the improved flatwork or how great his body feels or his (minimal) grid work or what the difference is, but Courage has definitely figured out what his job is.

That makes all the difference. Last year, he would get wiggly going to jumps because he wasn't quite sure what to do. This year? Ears up, brain engaged.

Jump the jumps.

Sometimes he does have wild moments. It's not really a buck and it usually ends in a flying lead change.

I'm not sure what to call it other than kind of silly looking.

The jump standard blocks the view here, but we stuck a rail over the black tube aka "great wall of china" that he couldn't mentally process last year.

It's set on the center line of the arena, so he only gets maybe two straight strides to look at in on the approach, but he didn't even hesitate.


At the end, we put a fun little course together.

The jumps look tiny and they are, but it is just so good for both of us to have fun and build confidence together.

It's easy.

It's supposed to be easy. We do this for fun.

We're having fun.

I'm working to find the balance of staying in my comfort zone long enough to build my own confidence, but also stretching it enough that I don't stagnate or regress. Courage is just the man for the job. I'm excited to see where we go together.


  1. Sooooooo excited for you and Courage! Seems like he's making great strides (no pun intended) in this training every day, and he's having as much fun as you are! Keep it up :)

  2. Love his expression in the first photo. He looks like his right ear is all "YES jump the jump!!" and the left one says, "right.... we're jumping, right mom?" Hehe :)

  3. what do you mean a role model! you have a little role model right here :}

    he is adorable! and yes, it's suppose to be fun... ;)p there's always the crazy moments, but when they start to figure it out it's so awesome! and then they figure it out too much and try to take over.... just wait until that happens haha.

    Anyway, absolutely adorable!

  4. Tiny is the way to start when you're building confidence and teaching the babies. Like the last picture.

  5. He looks awesome!! I'm so happy you're having so much fun together!

    I could have this totally wrong, but I seem to remember someone telling me that when they do that tiny buck in or before a flying change that they aren't forward enough or their haunches are strong enough so they aren't reaching under themselves enough. It should go away with practice and once he's stronger. :) If I'm wrong, please someone correct me. It's been a long time since I heard this and I may be remembering it wrong....

    Oh and great photos!!!

  6. This is awesome. I love reading that you're having FUN. That's what it's supposed to be about - something I have to remember time and again. Kudos and congrats on all the progress. Can't wait to see what the summer holds.

  7. Yay for fun, I agree, if your pushing too fast and it loses all the fun, then its not worth it. A large part of our time with horses is the journey, so it has to be enjoyable too. I also have those... uh... flying lead changes.. maybe they take the word flying to literal?

  8. Beautiful wonderful 'smorgasm' of photos! Love!

  9. Weee! Jump all the jumps! You and Courage look wonderful!

  10. Loooovin' it! B and I are right behind you! Okay, maybe a few steps. Rock it!

  11. You guys look like you're doing great! It's so fun to see how you guys keep improving :)

  12. Love the feeling when they start to "get" it!

  13. Not only does he understand his job, but clearly he loves it! You guys look fabulous! And he looks smashing in the white polos.


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