Guess whose princess pony was an excellent baby horse for jumping?
If you didn’t guess mine, you were wrong.
C was really, really, really good yesterday! I think my opinion that he loves jumping was confirmed, too—T said when she lunged him in the AM he dragged her on the lead line to jump a crossrail to the edge of the circle. Naughty pony, but also a good thing he likes it so much, because jumping is what I like best, too!
He behaved so nicely in warmup, and I really took the time to set him up correctly every time I asked for canter. We nailed pretty much every lead, which makes me happier than I can possibly express because that’s what we’ve been working on so hard in our flatwork. I would give us an 85% overall score on leads because we did miss a few, but I’m also going to curve it to 95% because baby horse! And success!
The jumping itself was awesome. C is so freakin’ honest that it blows my mind. We had a little crossrail to white gate line (T: This should be 3 strides! C: *gets 2 every time*) that, on the first attempt, I totally botched. This was due in part to the Magnetic-Gate theorem; we came in at an awkward angle to the crossrail, and of course, my natural reaction was to stare directly, straight down, at the white gate.
C was an angel and hauled my ass over it despite the fact I completely lost my eyes and my left leg (this is the one he presses out through, so is extra important to keep on).
He really likes to veer left, so something I need to work on is keeping him straight not just before the jump, but right after it, too. If I let him, he’ll swerve at a 90 degree angle left after the jumps. It may be great to know he’s got the balance for sharp turns in case of future fancy jumper rounds, but it’s not a great habit if I’m not asking for it.
Other things I need to be aware of: lift the eyes, bend at the hips. No pelvic thrusting. I don’t think I’m flinging myself at the jumps but I’ve been caught off balance once or twice, so I want to be particularly careful to avoid developing the habit. Eyes have always been my nemesis so I just need to pick a point in the distance and focus on it.
Things I was good about: my elbows were more relaxed than usual, my heels stayed down, and I mostly counted out the strides, which helped us find the distances. Obviously they weren’t all perfect, but I noticed the ones I counted to felt a lot smoother than those I forgot.
Also, we have a new log nemesis. The stacked logs jump at our barn is fine with a pole over it, but as soon as the pole is removed and only the logs are left, my brain says “That is a not-jump that we are trying to jump. How to equestrian…?” Which is obviously not the best course of action when jumping a baby horse. T said to pick a point in the distance and let C do the jumping part, since I’m apparently incapable of finding distances to weird log stacks. She didn’t use those particular words but the sentiment remains the same.
Thankfully, C is a very sensible baby horse and can pick up the slack a little when I drop it.
In other news, the C-man and I are officially signed up for our first show! Cue relentless, pointless nervousness disguising itself as high-pitched excitement. Mmhm.
In short, I have the best baby horse, and today we jumped things with relative success.