Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baby Mo's First Jumps

I have a feeling that he's not going to be Baby Mo for long. The way this horse learns and improves, he's going to be Grownup Mo in no time. Not that I'm in a rush, of course. I love this green baby phase, and it's even more fun with a horse like this one who really wants to do it right.

Yesterday, M came down to the barn while I was finishing up chores and announced in her sunny way that "we're going to jump your horse today!" I was pretty excited. Nothing about this horse made me worry that it was going to be a disaster. Plus I really trust M.

We started out walking and then trotting through a set of four trot poles. It took him a minute to catch on, and we had a couple run out attempts (run outs are about steering. Mo and I do not have our steering down 100% yet. We'll fix it). But when he got it, he really got it. His footfalls were perfect and he understood, I think, that this exercise is easier when he's in front of the leg.

After that, I let him canter once around to solidify the idea of forward (well, after we got the lead issue sorted--this is a work in progress). Then M set a half crossrail over a flower box and we trotted over it. Kind of, anyway: the horse was like WAIT I don't know where my feet go. So he literally stepped his front feet over it and stopped. I was laughing so hard that I was gasping for air while I tried to kick him. Then he did it better each time. M switched the rails to put the other side in the cup, and then put the whole thing up, and Mo did his first actual x. (I apologize, to SprinklerBandit most of all, for not having photos of the stripeyface jumping. There's no one around to take pics most of the time.)

This one we jumped toward the camera.

 After we jumped this one a couple times out of a trot without stalling out, she set three other little cross rails and told me to find a course that included them all, starting with the one he knew. I just picked a simple hunterish diagonal-outside-diagonal-outside route. We circled back and repeated a couple to emphasize rhythm. He only made one mistake, crashing into the second one a little bit.

This one we jumped away.
You can see our trot poles in the background.
But each time he came back to this one, he actually jumped it a bit instead of just stepping over it. Eventually he will realize that he can, in fact, leave the ground. That he didn't come to that conclusion on the first day is basically what I'd expect for a horse who's been as quiet as he has been thus far.

Then the easy one with no fill or anything.

No problemo.
And finally, the one with the spooky barrels, that he did not spook at because he rocks.

He'll be going over those barrels before he knows it.
Then we did the first one one more time and called it a day. I took him on our first solo hack, which he really enjoyed, even when two trailers came rattling down the driveway. He's been so much fun so far, I can't even stand it.

Tomorrow, if all goes to plan, we'll be tagging along on an XC school. I don't expect we'll do much more than hack around, go through the water and over a ditch, and generally work on behavior. Maybe step over a log. I'll be sure to keep y'all posted.


  1. awesome - way to go Mo! have fun xc schooling (even if it's just getting a feel for the atmosphere) - i'm going this weekend and am soooo super psyched!

  2. <3 I like your picture descriptions. I just squinted and tried to imagine you both being there.

  3. Good boy Mo!!! I seriously think you found the perfect horse :)

  4. AHHHH so exciting! I wish we could have Mo and P-diddy in a barn together, the world would literally implode from awesomeness and cuteness! Sounds like he is the best!