Monday, March 12, 2012

Love those Horse-Filled Weekends!

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as much as I did.  And I hope the time-change went a little more smoothly for you...  did not like waking up in the dark this morning!

So here's the weekend recap....

Friday we got to the horse show in the early afternoon, unpacked and got Tuck's stall set up, and I hacked Tuck.  I started him off outside but it was really windy and he was just barely holding it together.  Such a good boy really, because I could feel that he really wanted to explode and be naughty but he was doing his best to behave.  Since I wasn't going to accomplish the nice quiet hack that I was hoping for outside, we found the show management and I asked if I could ride in the indoor, which we did.  A few other super fancy horses and serious looking riders joined us and I just prayed that Tuck wouldn't make a fool out of me.  But thankfully, he was an angel, and we had a nice quiet ride. 

Saturday was a long day at the horse show, and when we finally pulled into home it took all my strength to force myself to ride my own horse.  But once I was on board, I was glad I did.  We just did a quick 20-minute flat work session but he did everything right so I was happy to keep it short and sweet.  Tucker has been so, so, so good since I moved to the new place.  I think he's getting turned out for a couple more hours because they have less horses and don't need to rotate fields, so that helps.  I've been getting out there more consistently to ride, which makes a big difference too. 

On Sunday afternoon we took advantage of the beautiful spring weather and sunshine, and headed to the outdoor ring to jump.  I kept all the jumps relatively low, around 2'6" or so, because I wanted to jump around and have fun and not worry or stress myself out about making it perfect.  I set up the crossrail exercise from the Horsemastership clinics again, and did that a couple of times first.  Then we moved on to a single vertical on the diagonal, and the first time through I needed a little more pace (surprise, surprise) but came around again and got the right rhythm.  Then we did the outside line in 4 strides, a little wall to an oxer, and we jumped in a little big so I just used my voice and said whoa on landing but didn't change anything else, and the four worked out perfectly.  Then we moved on to the other outside line, also a 4, a plank vertical to a plank oxer.  Here we jumped in a little more conservatively so I had to just close my leg a little and he moved up for the four.  Then I kept cantering all the way around the ring and jumped the roll top, which was set on the diagonal with a long approach.  I had just the right canter and it came up right out of stride.

After a walk break to catch our breath, we put the whole thing together as a course.  The diagonal vertical off the left lead, landing and turning left.  Then the outside line with the wall in four, off the left, then back down the diagonal vertical jumping it the opposite way, landing and turning right.  Then up the other outside line, and all the way around the ring to the rolltop again.  Complete success.  I stayed relaxed, Tucker got his changes, and we made it down both lines just right.  Although I didn't have the right pace to the first jump (which was less than pretty), I got the right rhythm after that and maintained it all the way through, so I'll take it.  Most importantly I actually enjoyed jumping my horse around and didn't stress myself out or get nervous and panicky.  He is such a good boy.  Love him!  Next weekend I want to do the same thing, but a different course and with the jumps just a hole higher.

1 comment:

  1. You and Tucker sound like you had a great weekend. I'm glad he's enjoying his new home and seems to be happy with more turnout.

    Your course seems like it was a lot of fun to jump and you did really well. My favorite part of riding was always jumping courses. I miss it sometimes. I'm always tempted with Blue, he's a talented jumper and loves it. I noticed you had a rolltop in there too, for some reason I never liked them, don't know why, I jumped them but they made me a little nervous. Keep having fun with your boy!

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