Here there be dragons...

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

Happy Bunny Day!


So it totally makes sense that Bunny Day is good for jumping!

Started with my awesome working students who were SO ON today :)   Brena and Rebecca both pulled off a complex gymnastic of bounce, one stride, bounce, one stride, oxer.  Woohoo!  And at a reasonable height too :)

Then I was going to dressage Athena, but Brena offered to set fences for me, so I figured I should take advantage of that opportunity since A needs TONS of gymnastics but they're a pita to set when you ride alone all the time.

And just as well, since Athena was *spun* when I got on her.  hahaha so I let her run around the ring a bit (it wasn't pretty) and as soon as she was warmed up and I had something that vaguely resembled control we switched to jumping.  Popped her over a little (2'3"ish) oxer a couple times at the trot before moving on to our standard pole-vertical-pole w/u.  I had the poles set pretty close to the jump to really encourage her to round.  Normal jumps until we got to about 3' and then suddenly we had a bascule and a half!  hahaha Not sure how it looked but it was pretty kewl to ride.  Although made the 3' jump feel about 5'.  Sheesh.

So then went back to our baby oxer and added a baby vert one stride in front.  We've been doing a lot of little gymnastics with this horse to try and get her figuring out where her feet are.  Popped through it a couple times, np.  Add another jump one stride in front of it, cheated a couple times trying to add a canter stride in but not tragic.   She was speedbumping the middle fence though - not even really acknowledging its presence.  So we made it a bit bigger - about entry height.

Still didn't care.  Jumping beautifully.  Slight drift, but nothing tragic.  So we upped the oxer a couple holes -- also entry-ish.  Flawless.  Ok fine, up two more holes.  Still easy.   Not even putting real effort into it.  (See above paragraph -- she usually starts throwing herself over with all her power at about 3').  Ok fine, up two more holes.

Turn the corner...  hmmmm that looks a little bigger than I anticipated.  And definitely bigger than I've jumped her before.  Ah well - already on the line, committed now.  She hesitates one stride out of the first fence - which actually works in my favour as it gives us the trot approach instead of the canter stride.  Put a little more leg on and she jumps the next two like an absolute superstar.  Didn't even overjump the oxer or kickout with her hind legs (her two standard "I don't know about this" reactions).  Actually jumped it confidently and as though she schools that height all the time.  Even landed straight, on the correct lead and balanced!  O.M.G.  hahaha Ok, we're done.   I was *thrilled*.    hahaha part of successful horse training is knowing enough to quit while you're ahead.   When you most want to do it again, is often when it's the perfect time to stop.  Carrot and pats for pony :)

Did eventually check the height of the fence - it was between the 3'6 and 3'9 range -- certainly not massive, but a good sign for the horse I have ambitions of sending training level, but have been wondering if those ambitions might be pushing her ability.   So after several weeks of less-successful rides, to have her jump positively and comfortably over a reasonable sized fence pretty much made my week.  Now admittedly there's a long way between one fence at the end of a gymnastic and a course full of single jumps, but still - it's a giant leap in the right direction :)

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