Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Eventing Bingo

Sorry I dropped off. It has been a rush to get my work caught up before taking vacation. Then this random snow/slush mess came along and I spent the night at the barn. After dealing with no heat, darn furnace, I was ready for an early finish. Which means I get to work on my Eventing Bingo story.

So for Bingo Card D, some of this is based on true stories

Owning multiple horses means that some shows have me riding more than once. And this crazy show was no different. DaVinci was up first doing his dressage test. Everything was going well during his training level test and for once my nerves were behaving. Then out of the blue, when we picked up left lead canter, DaVinci jumped out of the arena at A. Why is it again that we don't have a panel covering the opening like the upper levels? As my jaw dropped I circled and reentered to finish. Yeah, a great start.
 Next up was Barry. After the first test I was not surprised we got "Tense" on our judges card. Ah well cross country was our best part. Dressage is just a way to get to jumping. We had a first jump thing though and sometimes Barry took it big. This time I landed on his neck in a heap with glasses askew and stirrups swinging. As I continued on, I realized my chest felt a little jiggly. It seemed I also had a wardrobe malfunction with my zip front bra. Bless my protector vest for keeping the girls somewhat contained.

 We finished well despite my issue and moved onto stadium. My little speed demon seemed to have left his brakes on cross country. Luckily he was highly maneuverable and came back to me in the middle of the course. Sadly, we had a cheap rail at the end. I swear he barely touched it.

So for Bingo Card L

Comrade got to go to a small one day event. My nerves were not great since we have had some rocky rides before the show. And sure enough he became "that" horse in warm up. He was bucking every time I asked for canter. This was going to be a fun dressage test. Surprisingly he must have left all the crazy in the warm up and we walked away with straight 6's on our test. My relief was short lived as we hit the cross country course. First jump good, second Oh HOLY LONG SPOT, so I tapped him with the whip and my lazy Cob decided to fly forward with no brakes in sight. I managed to get him to the next few fences, but he was rolling and went right by one of the fences. Dang it, I had never missed a fence on cross country before. Obviously, Comrade's head was not in the game and we were so far in the hole, I retired.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Jump School Revelations

Roscoe has been working hard since camp and I wanted to give him a mental break. Last weekend our plans were foiled by a storm, but we were able to play today. Mom set up a line and two single jumps.

We warmed up over ground poles and figured out what distance worked for Roscoe. Surprisingly, the best ones were the "stretched" poles Mom set. I guess our short legs make pole setting a little more fun. Once Roscoe was warmed up, Mom put up a couple little "x's," which Roscoe saw as raised poles not worth much effort. We had to tweak the ground rails to suit Roscoe, but overall he adjusted to the distances.
Since that was not a challenge, Mom raised the "x's" and made the second jump in the straight a vertical. The center jump became a baby ramp oxer.
Finally we succeeded in finding Roscoe's jump. He amazed me by smoothly jumping the "x" and cantering forward over the vertical and cantering around the bend. He felt great, but I still brought him down to trot before going over the ground pole - "x" - ground pole series where he gave me another great jump and cantered out.

Of course when we videoed, it was not as smooth. Roscoe would jump in, but get crooked going toward the vertical. What I liked about how he worked was that he made it work. Long spots, close spots, me jumping ahead or being left behind, Roscoe was steady. Video 1
When I pointed him at the baby ramp oxer, he just trotted over it. Lazy pony! When I changed directions, he was not inclined to canter. That's okay, I just tapped him with the whip to keep him active. This time when we approached the oxer, he gave me a jump. Video 2

I was thrilled with the jump school revelations.

Roscoe is super handy
He is not bothered by changes
He is not worried by my missteps
I need to work on reading his intentions
Time to bring out the flowers and decorations
Time to push for more
He is super fun to jump

Hey guys I may have a jumper pony soon!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Green Horse Battles

As expected emotions have been strong in the barn. It is hard when so much brings memories. With all that, there are still horses that need work. And Roscoe seriously tested both Mom and I. He was a spook with Mom when she worked ground driving the day after we lost Winston. I really think he was feeding off of  Mom's emotions. So when I rode him on Friday, I did not know what to expect.
He came out resistant. I tried to to stay firm, but zen. It was tough. Roscoe gave me his foot stomping, high headed giraffe impression. Plus he decided to try and run through my aids.

So I threw canter transitions at him. And he threw bucks at me.

Going to the right he seemed to forget he had a right lead. That created another battle. I tried spiraling him in then asking as I pushed him out. Over and over he kept giving me left lead.

I seriously had to dig deep for that unemotional ride I had at camp. I needed to think and examine. Roscoe was bulging that left shoulder. A bigger bend did not help, so I tried for straighter. He still gave me left lead. I ended up slightly counter bending him to get the right lead.

After that I decided to end on the left. Roscoe gave me one left lead and then just to stick his tongue at me, he picked up right lead going left. Well I just kicked him forward, did a ten meter turn and cantered right.

These green horse battles will happen. Roscoe has figured out it is hard work and he is going to test my insistence. I think things are going to be ugly for awhile. That's okay. Growing up is hard to do.

Sweaty Boy