Here there be dragons...

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

Cause I'm still smiling hours later...

*taken from GRS blog*

So I took Sienna for an off-property jump school today. N the facility we went to -- yeah pretty much if you took exactly what I'm looking for (in my dream "if I had $" world) this is what you'd end up with. Right size, style, type of property. It even had a pond. And the arena was amazing. *sigh*

Anyways -- Si was pretty kewl when we got there. Took her a bit to chill out, but I was there super-early to give her time to do so, so all good. At least she refrained from bouncing while I put her tack on! hahaha So we had a revert to when I first got her -- in that she went from reasonably calm to absolutely spun as soon as I put the bridle on. Less good. But on the plus side, while she was a little high, she didn't actually lose it; so I had hope :)

Go in the arena and walk around a bit -- she was looking at the world (esp the mirrors -- much higher than @ M's so she could only see her reflection occasionally; thereby startling her each time) and the windows, which were just over her head. She actually almost stood for me to get on, so I was pretty excited about that, and then was willing to walk around the ring. Woohooo. Gaining some maturity. We had a brief discussion that it was inappropriate to stand on her hindlegs to look out the windows, and otherwise, she was great. Got over the mirror thing reasonably quickly. I will admit I was grateful for the martingale as we went into the trot though -- had a few definite giraffe on crack moments! hahaha fortunately we were just about through those when my coach appeared. She was still trotting around on speed and not exactly vaguely resembling a relaxed working trot, but at least she was pretending to listen to what I was saying. hahaha

Let her canter around a bit (Si is always better after she canters) and then try the trot again. Still strong, but rideable.

Start with poles on a circle. Np. Sienna's an old pro. Then a jump on the circle. Still np. Till we tried to do it @ canter. Entirely demolished it. Which of course worried her just a bit (read, brain fell out ear when poles scattered). Poor girl does NOT like to make a mistake. So it took me a while to reinstall her brain and convince her the world really was ok. Repeat it at trot, clear fence by extra foot. Yeah no surprise there. Tried it at canter... hmmmm well she cleared the fence beautifully, and then randomly decided to change direction. Not quite sure what inspired that, but unfortunately my coach was standing right about there (theoretically to "help" -- uh-huh). Did the left-right-left-right-squirrel-in-headlights dance that nearly had him getting flattened and me hitting the dirt and Sienna very very upset at the whole scenario (that whole something wrong drama-queen thing again). But I managed to defy the laws of physics to follow the far more important rule #1, and my coach is a lot faster than I'd've thought, so I just pretended I'd *intended* to randomly change direction and schooled her that way till she chilled again.

So of course we had to do it again *sigh*. hahaha fortunately by now we were about out of wrong options, so we just had to go and do it right *g*.

From the baby-gymnastic that we'd thoroughly destroyed in every way shape or form we moved to jumping around the course -- focusing on ridability between fences (ie circles ARE legal :). Sienna was a complete pro. Got a little strong once or twice but never looked at a thing. Coach's comment of "you know she jumps better when they're higher" was somehow not as reassuring as he'd intended it to be :) Translation of course "don't screw it up!" hahaha but we didn't. N in the end jumped one of (possibly THE) nicest course I've ever done on her. Perfect hunter round over a jumper course. Steady rhythm, da-dum, da-dum,da-dum, over-the-fence, da-dum, da-dum. Every lead change. Entirely in balance. No circles necessary. Bang on spot to each fence. Just wow. So we stopped *g* hahaha we all know the value of quit-while-you're-ahead and the whole point of today was confidence building and achieving control off-property. And we did that. We did that far better than I'd ever imagined doing that. So I'm pretty excited.

Still not convinced we're ready for PT @ Grandview yet, but hey, I've got almost a month :)


Post a Comment