Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Gotta luv the green beans :)

I gotta admit one of my favourite things about training a young horse is watching their confidence grow. From weave up to the fence, hesitate, then throw self over to calmly trotting/cantering around w/ no hesitation seems like such a little thing but really makes all the difference in the world. Or even smaller than that -- being willing to stand quietly in xties instead of spinning in circles to watch everything going on. And every time I get bored doing the baby thing over and over and over again I just have to remind myself that those kinds of breakthroughs are directly related to said patient reiteration. And sometimes it really is worth it.

Like last night. When my little horse finally learned how to jump :) I'm ecstatic! Still grinning and it's the next afternoon. And just in time since we're going XC this weekend *g* hahaha But omg it was amazing. Related distances, scary fences, jumping out of both trot and canter. Everything. And about half way through she started scanning for what the next fence might be and focusing on it. Like an old pro. AND even over the scary fences she didn't feel the need to clear them by three feet each *g* Just took normal size jumps; directly correlated with that is she has learned TO jump over them -- we weren't scattering poles everywhere (or anywhere actually -- every one stayed up). Now this may not seem like much, but compared to the "brilliance or disaster" theory we've been working on until now this was a huge lightbulb moment.

Now as far as scary fences goes; the last event barn I taught at I used to *suggest* that we should have some pinwheels under the jumps. Somehow nobody liked that idea >;-P Instead there were lots of fake flowers around. Now fake flowers are scary all in themselves, and since they tend to be used to decorate two if not all THREE phases of eventing it really is important that the horses come to realize they're generally harmless. However, yesterday I saw by FAR the most entertaining jump decoration. Fake flower pinwheels! hahaha seriously! I just had to laugh when I saw them. Became particularly exciting when I lowered the jump to Sienna height, which meant the pinwheels were touching the pole, which meant they made a buzzing noise as they spun -- and spinning they were since the sandring's in a wind tunnel. hahaha plus side to that is my horse isn't highly reved by windy days anymore. Downside is that edge is always there. Anyways back to the scary noisy pinwheel flowers -- brilliant. I jumped her over this on the lead first so I didn't have to ride the first really excessive jump. Cheating or intelligent training? Could swing either way :) But it worked in my favour cause when I went to jump her afterwards we had a reasonable jump which meant a positive experience which meant the rest of the day lead to the brilliant jumping of the rest of the ride :) I'll tell ya though, while she'd jump it flawlessly any time I asked, do you think I could get her to walk or trot near it w/o shying??? hahaha Classic.


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