Monday, August 17, 2015

Jumping, Thank GOD

On Wednesday I finally decided that the balance between "my back doesn't feel great" and "Mo and I both need to jump" had tipped enough in the latter direction that it was time to just get it done, so M scheduled me in for the next day. Fortunately, M is doing a zillion Pony Club C-3 preps right now so the C-3 grid is set up. It's three trot poles, a cross rail, one stride to a vertical, one stride to another vertical, one stride to an oxer. Not too complicated--Mo has done much more technical grids with ease, but this was our first time back to jumping in a minute and we haven't done grids in months.

I was a little rusty--M had to remind me to show the bottom of my foot to the front of the fence so my leg doesn't slip back in the air (I gotta spend some QT in two-point, man). She told me that he's ready for me to be more generous with my release, but that's hard when my base wasn't quite there thanks to weeks of dressage and trail rides (not that dressage riders aren't incredible athletes, but jumping requires different muscles). So that's a goal--get the base back, and release more in the air. I can do this, it's not super hard for me if I'm fit, but I've definitely slid backwards. No worries. I can fix that.

Anyway, the grid progressed as usual--just trot poles, then the poles to the X, then adding the next vertical, etc. He'd come once from each direction over each new element before she'd add the next one. Nothing new there. But every time, he just kinda trotted in and jumped. I'd add a little leg coming down the long side so he would have power through the turn and wouldn't have to change anything when he got there, and I'd close my leg between each jump, but I didn't need to nail him. I know part of the point of grids is that they keep the horse in a bit of a rhythm all on their own, but I really liked how he read it. As always, he just finds his way through without any drama.

Me? Drama?

M put up the two verticals a little after my first time through with both of them, so the first one was 2'3" and the second one was 2'6", and then left them alone after that and focused on making the oxer bigger. And bigger. And just a little bigger.

Until it was 3'. Which isn't THAT exciting until you consider that it was Mo's first 3' fence.

Bam, motherfuckers
I texted my mom after the lesson and was like "WE JUST JUMPED 3' AND MO IS AMAZINNNGGG." She asked how he handled it, and I said, "Without batting an eyelash." Why should he? Jumping is easy for him. I'm not sure we could have built a better jumper. He can really crack his back in the air, too. I'm definitely going to have to get strong in my position again if I'm going to do him justice. Which I really hope I do. He might not have fast shoes (yet), but he's got springs in his feet. While I would never do this because rattling him is NOT worth it, it felt to me like we could have put the rails at the top of the standards and he'd have just kept on trucking through.

Afterwards, M was like "You should be very happy, that was so great, a big step forward." I joked that since he's jumped 3' he's now ready to go novice, and she was like "yeah right, just go ahead and enter training, whatever."

I'm so excited. So, so excited. My mom promised to come get video of him jumping soon, now that she's on her way home from her summer trip, so I hope that works out soon (and that my position is back to decent beforehand, ha, selfish).

I'd say this jump school did the trick in breaking up the dressage ennui. Yay.


  1. There is always something super awesome/special about the first 3' fence!!

  2. That is seriously super exciting!! I emailed pretty much everyone I know when Courage did his first 3' fence. ;-)