Here there be dragons...

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

For those who wonder why... Today's ride was part of the answer :)

So today was one of those days that you just shake your head and wonder "how did I ever get to be so lucky?" It was unbelievably amazing, and particularly when contrasted w/ what I "gave up" to be here, that much more so. N yes I know I wouldn't *really* have been at the office today as I heard a rumour it's Saturday, but I would've been yesterday so I figure it balances

For the first time it's SUNNY. Just < 10deg, so your classic crisp fall day. AND the outside ring has dried up perfectly! That's right -- jump school! woohoo! (ok so I had a full YEAR of dressage -- other than training Sug and occasionally riding a few other random horses I really didn't do much jumping at all so I clearly have to make up for lost time :)

And not only are we scheduled for a morning jump school -- but I've got somebody to ride w/ now. hahha jump lessons are usually semi-private, but Cayman wasn't *quite* ready for that. One other girl w/ a super-talented greenbean though so she and I have been paired up.

Cayman was *beyond* spinny. Galloping around in his paddock, n just quivering as I led him out to the ring... hmmmmm could make for an interesting ride :) N of course Denny shows up early -- walks in just as I'm about to get on. So I ask him to hold C for me while I mount (it's not C's strong point). Now this is tricky, cause we all know how much Cayman likes Denny ;-} And Denny's not known for chilling out spinny horses... But I didn't want to get yelled at for not being able to get on so... Denny holds the horse, or tries to. Yeah we basically ran him over while I was getting on -- fortunatly he let go and got out of the way. NOT the best start >;-P ah well, I tried :) So then I'm trying to make Cayman walk, as per other lectures. "RIDE THAT HORSE!" ummmm ok :) Nice power trot around the ring, occasionally shying at things, but honestly not bad. The whole time I'm being lectured about how he should be lunged till I can get on him safely and WALK away etc etc etc. N yes I accept that it's not the *best* scenario to get on a horse that runs away, but really I've been here b4, several times, I always manage to chill them out eventually. N lunging indefinitely just really isn't my thing. Besides which, should an unfit horse really run around in little circles? But sobeit - I've been told to lunge so we'll lunge. At least for a day or so! >;-P hahaha I lasted what, 2 days last time?

So I may have the greenbean of the pack when it comes to jumping or anything related to xc, but we have kick-ass dressage :) hahaha it feels like cheating to start w/ a horse who already knows all that. The w/u part of things went really well (once we got through the initial run-around-and-spook-at-stuff phase; funny how until today I haven't been able to canter more than one lap around the ring cause he's not fit enough -- but the start of today's ride was "go canter him more" hahaha). Anyways we start w/ 3 trotting poles -- woohoo several levels up from our last 'jump' lesson :) hahaha n C was a star. Really couldn't care less about them. So then time to jump.

Theory part of the lesson: when teaching a greenbean to jump their job is to get to the other side, gracefully :) hahaha That's it. N the jumps have to be small enough that if the 'gracefully' part of things doesn't work, it doesn't matter. Also "little and often" -- as in do tiny jumps and LOTS of them. Was happy to hear this as it's the theory I've always gone w/ :)

So Denny lowers all the jumps in the ring and basically says "go jump" (my girls would love his teaching style, speedbumps are totally allowed!) -- all fences are to be in trot to begin w/ -- but the first thing we did was an X w/ a 90deg turn to a vert. Not exactly *easy* hahaha but Cayman pulled it off. (now you have to understand -- almost all the fences were about 2' -- the absolute biggest was maybe 2'3" -- so this is not exactly the grand prix ring here). But basically his warmup was a course. He jumped 7 fences in a row -- including a brick wall, bright yellow flowers, boxes, a scary jump that couldn't decide whether it was an X or a vert, pylons, etc. Basically everything except the liverpool (too wide) and a couple fences that were too big for where he is now (next week :). The idea being throw everything at him he's going to see later, just tiny-sized. I've never seen a brick wall so small b4. N since they're all so small, no point to a long w/u over and over the same fence -- just jump around :) He was awesome. VERY hesitant at first, but by the end was jumping around confidently. Even did a few in canter (which were, quite honestly, much better :)

So then we go hacking. Now really, it doesn't get much nicer than this. Crisp, sunny fall day. Horses are chilled cause they've been ridden for an hour already. Mountain trails entirely covered w/ a blanket of leaves. That "fall" smell to the air. Sound of leaves rustling in the trees and shuffling as the horses' hooves land. Just about perfect.

Of course getting TO the trails was exciting -- we had to pass over a causeway right beside the water complex, w/ the scary hay feeder on the other side and a big moving tractor in front. hahaha the horse that's in the paddock w/ said hay feeder is *very* impressive (the word "presence" aptly describes him. "wow" would also be appropriate). He also feels the need to socialize w/ anybody in the vicinity. So while Cayman's rapidly trying to back up away from the causeway (I have visions of us doing our first few XC courses in reverse!!!!) Coby (yes that really is his name :) comes galloping up behind him -- and passes him. Well poor Cayman didn't know WHAT to do about that. REALLY wants to go gallop w/ Coby, but oh so scary path that way... But oh look, there goes Coby again (who's running laps around a tree so passing C on a regular basis) let's go w/ him! Oh but it's scary... Oh but I really want to go play! (and meantime the *actual* greenbean is standing oh so calmly on the other side of the causeway waiting for us). hahaha so eventually Cayman decided he'd just pick his feet up REALLY high (how to teach passage!) over the causeway -- just in case it tried to suck him in! hahaha didn't even run fast, just this crazy high-stepping trot till we were past it. Was totally chilled for the rest of the hack -- except for a *slight* meltdown @ the water. But we spent a good 15 mins going in and out across it till he'd do it @ least almost well :) Again, greenbean horse totally showed us up. He tried to figure out what Cayman was concerned about, but gave up! hahaha Other than that though, he was great.

But yeah, nothing much beats a good fall hack :)


I heard tell about a horse named Spunky that used to share his hallucinations with you and make you laugh. I can do that too!! because you're making MY world sooooooo much more interesting than it ever used to be and I am sooooooooo limited in the means by which I can show you what a great time I'm having :) Better stick with me or you're gonna have to bake carrot muffins for MEEEEE!!


hmmmm my thoughts as to who might be typing for Cayman are rapidly being confirmed :)


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