Monday, August 3, 2015

Progress Check (over fences with video)

friendly faces
I used to ride with Redheadlins, our BO, and Alyssa ALL THE TIME at my old barn. It was great--you had someone there to keep an eye on your progress (and take media) constantly. There are lots of perks to our current barn (like dressage ladies thinking everything I jump is MASSIVE, fab for the ego), but I do miss having friends to jump with. So much.

Last Saturday, Redheadlins came out to see Courage jump, Alyssa came to take pictures, and theoretically I was going to do the riding, but after cleaning stalls and setting a jump course and it being 105, just no. This office worker was done. Lindsey got to ride instead.

so sexy
She used to ride Courage a lot, but probably hasn't sat on him in 6-8 months at this point, and she only sees him infrequently.

Which is to say, instead of being tied in to our daily battles, she could take more of a long view and look at the progress we're making.

over the skinny
I told her to ride him like a hunter. Basically, through the dressage we've done, he's learning to understand contact and use his body correctly. Now he has to learn that 100% of the time, no matter what, he isn't going to get hit in the face over fences. He has such a short neck and topline that he just cannot absorb any disruption. 

She commented that he is so much stronger in the trot--when she trotted to a jump, he could take any distance and canter away softly. The canter was coming, but if he got to a funny distance, he didn't have enough tools to fix it yet.

That aligns well with our under saddle work--Courage really has the trot nailed. We're working on the canter and I'm thinking it will be a lot stronger/more balanced come spring.

favorite shot. omg.
I mean, he's already balanced, per se, but now it's about understanding how to use his body and change his stride.

Even as he is now though, he's capable of cantering up to a jump softly, jumping the shit out of it, and cantering away. Maybe my hunter really is hiding in there somewhere?

Time will tell on that count.

 It was really fun to watch Courage go. I've put all the rides on him this year (except two twenty minute segments by our dressage trainer), which means that A) I'm completely responsible for our progress or lack thereof and B) I only know how he feels, not what he looks like.

He's not polished and perfect by any means. He's not ready to go win a hunter derby tomorrow, or this year, or even next year.


I can already see how the work we've done together is changing his body, his balance, and his mind. I'm really thrilled to keep developing that and see where we can get to.


  1. FABulous! He looks so calm and relaxed and adjustable in that video. You've done great with him :D

  2. He looks so good! You've done an excellent job with him! Wow!

  3. These photos are great! He seriously looks amazing!

  4. Absolutely no reason why he won't be able to go around quietly in the hunters.

  5. He looks so cute! Best thing is that even when he got to a jump off a half stride he figured it out. Such a lovely expression over the fences!

  6. Courage is absolutely ridiculous and to mention that tail?! OMG! He looks amazing and you've done such an amazing job with him. I remember it got a little hairy a few months ago but just WOW. B wants to be him when he grows up.

  7. He's got a gorgeous powerful jump! I def think you have a hunter hiding in there, and he's peeking out for sure :)

  8. Gosh Aimee, he's looking so great! I love how when he gets to a bad distance he makes it work. It's not pretty, but he goes over, gets over and isn't pissed on landing. So awesome!!

  9. He looks fantastic! Isn't it great when all the hard work pays off?

  10. He looks really great, very businesslike but enjoying his job without over-exuberance =)

  11. Swoon-worthy for sure! And I'm loving his 'this is my job' mindset, that can be so valuable!

  12. He looks so rideable! It's so rewarding being able to watch our horses go under other riders and think, "hey, I taught you that! it works! other people can push the buttons I've installed!"

  13. he's looking really solid. the bumps and blips are just as easily attributed to knocking the rust off as anything else. he really is turning into such a nice horse!


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