Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jumping Skinny

You might remember two weeks ago when Courage and I tackled our first skinny jump like rockstars. I was pretty proud of him and then there were skinnies set all over the arena on Monday and after two days of flat rides, it was definitely time to try something new.


Note improved pic quality. YAY NEW PHONE.
After a nice warm up in which I reminded myself that my ass goes to the back of the saddle and my heels always only ever go down, WHILE MY HANDS ARE FORWARD AND UP, we trotted in to our first wee jump.

It's teensy, but that's not the point. The point is accuracy. Also the point is that at this time last year, Courage thought this HUGE and MENACING black tube was some sort of devilish apparition that completely blocked all forward motion and I couldn't lead him over it, much less ride.

And yeah, now it's not even worth jumping properly. I call that a win.

Loving my position here. Note ass out of saddle post-jump.
Next we moved on to the little rows of jumps blocks.

He's jumped these before lots of times, but never on a tight bending line and never so few at a time. In order to jump them well, I had to keep my hands really forward and my leg very tight and just stay in balance and wait.

It's harder than it sounds, I swear. Anyways. He jumped them super well and I was proud.

take off!
We cantered around (oh yes I canter skinnies NO FEAR BITCHES THEY ARE TINY) and Courage was being awesome aside from the one time that I pointed him at the narrowest jump we had, then leaned up his neck and took my leg off. Then we detoured because wtf did I even want anyways?

I don't know.

Anyways. I ended by cantering a sort of course, culminating in downhill (my kryptonite other than oxers and tall jumps) over the narrow barrels.

I was so thrilled with how I rode and how Courage jumped. He was soft and forward and balanced, which makes seeing a distance easy peasy and he's so athletic and brave that he really doesn't care if we're a little close or long.

He knows his job is to jump and I'm figuring out that my job is to steer and not pull on his face, and we're golden.

I dunno. I mean, I realize that thse jumps are not large, even for me, but I'm asking a more difficult question and Courage is emphatically answering "YES I GOT IT".

It's just so ridiculously fun to ride. Seriously.

I really love where the two of us are at right now. Heck, I even pretty much love my position in these pics. I'm finding the balance between giving the big release that Courage requires and keeping myself in balance in the saddle without ducking my upper body or losing my legs.

Maybe it's our classy new five point breastplate (thanks JenJ!) or the pretty boots or Courage showing off for the much-improved phone camera or maybe (dun dun dun)...

It's so very him.
It's that his cookie monster bonnet has finally arrived!!!

I mean, it's that or admitting that this ride has taken over a year of boring, slow, consistent training that only advances as fast as the horse is ready for it, even if that means time off for sore bodies and bad weather.

Nope, definitely the bonnet.

I love it.

So much.

I think I have another bonnet coming. What kind of magic will it produce?

PS We also trotted through 4 poles like a normal horse and didn't try to leap them one single time. That's big for us.


  1. that bonnet is amazing lol - just look at the transformation it inspired in your horse!!!! seriously tho - nice work and looks like fun

  2. The cookie monster bonnet is hilarious

  3. I love the take off and jump sequence photos. Solid pre position and then it looks like he just came right up to you. Jump experts = you guys! Awesome day

  4. You look GREAT! And that bonnet is awesome!

  5. That really is an excellent bonnet!

  6. Can never get too comfortable with skinnies...great to start early!

  7. Weeee! A whole course of skinnys? Brave!!

  8. Great photos - and I love the bonnet!

  9. Go you guys! I LOVE the bonnet!

  10. Sitting still, leg on, hands quiet, is like the hardest thing in the whole wide world. WHY IS THIS???

  11. There is so much good stuff here. I can't even. It's just too magical.

  12. Cookie Monster bonnet!!!! Awesome!!! This post makes me soooooo happy!!!!!!!

  13. Omg, I call Hero Cookie Monster too! Love it!

  14. Love the bonnet. He tucks up so nicely over the little stuff, how lucky! Great seeing you happy.

  15. I love every single thing about this post! ALL THE THINGS! The pics, the progress, the confidence, the position, the BONNET...ALL

  16. Fan photos & I adore the bonnet and the joy radiating from your post.
    So go on spill, what type of new phone did you get? ☺


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