Thursday, July 17, 2014

Adding the Jumps Back In

Reins are for wimps
After what seems like constant stop/go/stop/backup/stop "progress" this year, we're finally starting to put the pieces together under saddle and I am beyond stoked. I finally decided to buckle down in this ridiculous heat (now plus smoke! yay wildfires!) and set a whole honest-to-goodness jump course.

Also my BO was hinting that the jumps needed to be moved since weeds were growing under them and we were starting to look like hillbillies who never rode our perfectly nice horses. Yes, I judge people with weeds in their arena.

He got that figured out today
Anywhoodle. All that to say I went and set up a fun course with related distances and bending lines and straight lines and fill and all that. I intentionally set it low so my brain could handle it without a massive panic (DEER LEAP OF DEATH) response. Besides, we haven't jumped an actual course in like... I don't remember how long. A while.

Neither Courage nor I likes to drill flatwork, so I literally warmed him up with my reins flying in the wind and my hand in the neckstrap. W/t/c both directions, no problem. I'm using that time to get him a little more attuned to my leg so I can use less rein when we jump, but mostly we're just bombing around moving FORWARD.

Grab that neckstrap
I felt a little nervous while we warmed up. It wasn't that sort of gut-clenching fear, but just the buzz of "oooh, haven't done this for a while". Then we headed to our first little jump and the nervousness just disappeared.

This little guy is just so much fun to jump. He's learning his job and he's so freaking honest about it.

He did his first related distance in forever. He was a little wiggly between them the first time we attempted it, but I added leg and counted the next time and he was spot on.

Loving it
We even took a break, then picked it up again and put another little course together.

Both of our confidence was just building as we went along. We hopped over the blue tube, the blue barrels, a funny looking jump I hadn't built before, whatever. I rode forward and straight and stayed out of his face and he was having a good time, right down to the occasional clean flying change.

Yes, the jumps were tiny. No, we didn't do anything difficult.

Totes loving my kickass position here
But you know what? We had fun. We were ready for more at the end.

I missed this feeling.

So yes, it's been a rocky year with random breaks and lots of half-starts. I'm not regretting a minute of our extensive flatwork right now though. I have a more educated and rideable horse who is back to his usual brave, cocky self. There's lots of work left to be done, but where we're at is a very good place.


  1. You two look fantastic! So glad everything is coming together for you :)

  2. Awesome pictures! So glad you two are getting back in the groove :)

  3. Hooray! That sounds like so much fun! Congrats on having a great ride, you and Courage are a GREAT team :)

  4. You guys look great! And good for you for going back to flat work when you needed to. I think there are a lot of instances where we get further in the long run by back tracking a bit. You guys seem like you're really rolling now :)

  5. Yay! Sounds like a GREAT ride!

  6. well the break did you guys good because he looks awesome over the fences!

  7. Yay. The jumps look appropriately big for where he's at, he looks much more horse less deer 😉

  8. You and Courage both look good!

  9. At the end of the day, its all about fun - for both of you! Sounds like a really fabulous ride =]

  10. SO PROUD OF YOU!!! I keep saying this, but it bears repeating: he is lucky he has you. I think this is a partnership built to last.

  11. He does look happy

  12. You guys liked phenomenal! Your trust in each other as grown leaps and bounds and everything fell into place yesterday:)

  13. Looking so good! Your progression with him is completely normal and you all are doing a great job! Small jumps + Confidence = BIG WIN! It doesnt matter how high they are, what matters is that you're both having good experiences, the height will come in time. For me, I like to get BORED out of my brains at a height so that I am excited to crank them up or go to the next level. Meaning, I ride at BN level until I want to poke my eyes out if I have to jump another BN course because they are too easy for us, then I know, we're ready to go bigger! :) That's my ammy way of approaching it and knowing I'm ready. Mainly because I can't afford to get hurt or freak out my horse and have to pay a trainer to fix things, lol!

  14. Having fun is all that matters in riding, in my opinion. If you're not having fun why are you doing it! Y'all look amazing! So fresh. :)

  15. Great news! You both look lovely. And lol at you, "judge people with grass in their arena". I just had to go knock down some 2 ft weeds with the mower so I could ride in my arena-read pasture. Haha

  16. That 'loving it' picture is seriously great of both of you. Treasure the glimmers of improvement!

  17. Killing it girl!
    I am delighted for you & C-rage. Back to basics & confidence building can never be a bad thing!!


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