Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sunshine and Roses and LAUNCHING INTO ORBIT

don't overthink it
You know when something sounds like a good idea, but you sort of just know it isn't but then you do it anyways because you don't trust yourself and then it turns out to be a really bad idea after all?

Maybe it's just me.

Anyways. Last Thursday, I hopped on Courage in the jump tack. I was planning to just do a little two point and trot over some poles, but a fellow boarder left a couple of jumps up and even though I was alone, Courage has been fantastic, right?

It's a crossrail. What could go wrong?

Ha! Funny you should ask. We started by trotting over a few poles. Courage was a little up (aka "thought about cantering after the poles), so we just kept trotting them until he held a consistent rhythm on a loopy rein.

it's bigger than you'd think
Then we trotted to the little crossrail.

Courage LEAPED over it and landed running.

Sigh. That's what I get for not jumping much, right?

I took him back down to trot poles until he could do them nicely, then re-approached the crossrail.

This time he got to about one stride out and just flung his head up and RAN AT IT. And launched. And landed running. I could walk you through the whole cluster, but let's just say that there was lots and lots of flatwork and poles and jump changing and stopping to think and cantering in place and getting stuck and racing and leaping and we finally were able to trot over a crossrail without racing or leaping, but it was a solid 90 minutes of hard work to get there.

i'll take any excuse to look at this pic
The good news is that Courage is neither difficult nor scary to ride. At any point, I could stop and drop the reins on his neck and he'd go to sleep.

So on that fantastic note, we were all set for our first jump lesson of the year.

We were finally able to sync back up with S who did so much for us last year. Courage definitely showed all sides of what we've been working on lately.

Warning: video below is kind of boring. (jumping starts at 45 seconds).

the return of the possessed right hand
Basically, any time we cantered towards the gate or around a corner, he wanted to RUN LIKE HELL which I would then exacerbate with super creative BRACING. S called us out on it and we made some fixes, and then Courage was like "eff you right turns".

So the first part of the video is sorting that out and the second part is just going through our little exercise. It's all crossrails. There's no leaping or flailing, but that's where we're at right now.

that's better
It was so good to have some eyes on the ground. I haven't ridden in the jump tack much lately and I was making some pretty basic mistakes that certainly weren't helping us. Plus S was able to help us curtail the naughtiness while giving me strategies to enhance the good things.

I did change my stirrup leathers a while back and it looks to me like they need to be a hole shorter--my position is usually pretty kick ass and well, it's not.

Regardless. Jump lesson #1 of 2015 is now in the books.


  1. Sounds like a productive lesson! I think you and C-rage are going to have a fab year.

  2. I prefer to have problems in front of my trainer because then 1. It validates I'm not losing my mind. 2. We can actually work on issues in the present. It sounds like you've got a great trainer on board, and are making progress! Love that last picture, he looks eager, but relaxed!

  3. That line you did was lovely - I'm jealous of that lead change. I agree - if you shorten your stirrups a hole your position will probably be just right. Also you are too hard on yourself, you know that right?

  4. You know, moments like this make me think that maybe you are becoming to Courage what Cuna was for you. A confident hand through life. In exchange, Courage looks like he is turning more and more into a Cuna-type. I mean, look at that beautiful rhythmical canter between fences in your video. Just look at it. Where was that last year? :)

    Little bobbles and dust to be knocked off be-damned. You guy got this.

  5. This still is a lot better than some of your lessons last year. Progress!

  6. A great first lesson of the year! Oh Courage, so cocky sometimes. I've been there for sure!

  7. No flailing and no leaping- looks like a good jump lesson to me!

  8. There's my nephew! I think y'all are doing great. You're gonna love what you're sitting on in May, I bet.

  9. "You know when something sounds like a good idea, but you sort of just know it isn't but then you do it anyways" <---- THIS!!! I do this all the time!!!

    Glad you were able to work through things with Courage. 90 minutes? Good Lord, I'd be dead after 20.

    Sounds like a great first lesson to knock some of the rust off! There's always some jumping rust.

  10. I agree shortening a hole will help but also if you go without jumping a while i always find it takes a bit to get your body strong again!! The pics look great though you'll get there in no time :)

  11. The cobwebs are gone now...I still think you look super ;)

  12. I think he's decided he really likes jumping.

  13. Maybe that wasn't your favorite lesson of all time, but WOW, you rode through his fussy bits and got some stuff DONE! LOVE the nice relaxed balanced canter you had there to the second fence. The pieces will fall into place, and most of them are already there!

  14. nice work!! i agree with Amanda - Courage is all like 'c'mon mom let's GO - screw these little poles i wanna JUMP!!' haha. good luck channeling all that energy :)

  15. Ahhh, the charges at fences fun. I learned to embrace it with the Yanks because it ended up being his style. B on the other hand GALLOPS at them and bolts afterwards which is neither conducive to learning, or jumping well.

    Its good that Courage does not have that tendency at least! It looks like ya got it worked out which is lovely!

    Also, the first paragraph = my life


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