Monday, July 7, 2014

Weekend Fun: Courage Jumps

He is the best at air time over a tiny X
So much awesome pony stuff happened this weekend! I'm going to break it down by theme. Let's start with jumping, because that was awesome.

Friday morning, Alyssa trekked out to take some pictures. I threw Courage on the lunge line and set a jump. We had a lesson coming up and I wanted him to work through the physical jumping process one more time before I tried to ride him.

When I'm lunging him over jumps, I usually use the jump blocks as the inside standard, so there's nothing for the line to catch on, but I still have tons of adjustability. The drawback is that they tip over easily and don't get very tall. Up til this point, that was ok, but I wanted to push Couage a little and see what happened.

3' baby oxer
So we used barrels.

It was his first time ever seeing jumps that big, much less jumping them. He's definitely got his mojo back, because my brave little man didn't even blink.

I set it up and widened it very gradually. We started with poles on the ground, then an X, then a vertical, then oxer.

Much better than a tantrum
The reason I lunge instead of free jump is that we are specifically addressing HOW he approaches and departs, not really just the jump. Thus when he deer leaped a vertical and landed on all four feet (which is uncomfortable for everyone), he launched forward and started pissing off.

I just reeled him in and made him pay attention while completely skipping the jump until he was ready to approach quietly again.

In the end, I had about a 3'3" face with almost a 4' spread.

He just jog-trotted in, rocked back, and BAM.


Technique-wise, I'm very attentive to the fact that this is hard physical and mental work for him, so I only have him jump each jump once or twice each direction before moving it up. I want jumping to be fun and interesting, not uncomfortable and scary.

Not enormous, but big for us
I'd say it's working--we had a lesson bright and early the next morning. We addressed our biggest under-saddle jump yet.

He was great. He understood how to use his body, and I understood how to let him.

Couldn't be happier with how he's coming along.


  1. Yayyyyy Courage! Jumping big jumps ain't no thang :)

  2. That's awesome! So happy for you two!!! <3

  3. He's coming along so nicely because he has a great team to help him along! So happy for you two!

  4. I'm so glad the lunging is working and that he's going so well. Super proud of you and him.

  5. That's a fair-sized oxer he's jumping on the lunge - and not a baby jump you're riding him over, either! Great to see such awesome progress.

  6. That's great! He looks so athletic over the fences :) I'm glad your lesson went well.

  7. Wow, definitely got his mojo back. He looks great!

  8. Sometimes letting them sort things out on their own is the best way to proceed. Much quicker too. He is coming along so nicely. That's awesome!

  9. Um, hello butt muscles!

  10. Wow those lunge jumps are huge, can't imagine riding them. His form is looking way better, more horse, less deer ;)

  11. Way to go!! I am so happy the work in hand has paid off so handsomely. All he needed was some time to figure it all out for himself.

  12. He looks like such a rock star! Both on the lunge and with you riding!! Awesome!!

  13. Jumping on the line is such a good tool. Can't wait to free jump Houston again sometime.

  14. Whee fab fun for all & great experience for the little man to learn how all the parts fit together in the jumping process

  15. He looks so awesome!!!!!! The longeing over jumps is really helping him out. :D I love it! You both look so great in that last photo!

  16. your horse jumps so cute!


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