Month: August 2011

Lame Pony

Lame Pony

After G’s trim on Friday, I decided it was time to get back on her and start practicing for next month’s dressage show. It’s only a few weeks away, and I want to make sure those Training level tests are perfect. I got to the […]

Dressage Show

Dressage Show

I’ve been searching for a low-key schooling show to enter The G in for a couple of months; I want to get her some exposure before we try a horse trial. She was allegedly a show horse before I acquired her, but she was also […]

Gymnastics

Gymnastics

Real jumps!

Today was a glorious exercise in show-jumping gymnastics that went better than I expected.

About a week ago I lent Anne my copy of Jim Wofford’s Training The Three-Day Event Horse and Rider (an excellent book) and she suggested we work through some of the gymnastic exercises featured in one of the book’s appendices. I was totally on board, although a little doubtful of Gina’s ability to not lose her mind at the sight of poles and jumps all lined up.

from Training the Three-Day Event Horse & Rider

We settled on Course 2, scanned above. It’s a simple exercise that would force Gina to slow down, take her time, and hit the right distance. I knew it would be beneficial for me, too- I am often terrible about letting my horses launch a stride too early. 

A lack of standards and poles led us to eliminate fence 3 (the rail that would have made an oxer), and we used muck buckets for fences 1 and 2. We started with all poles on the ground. G warmed up nicely, very supple and forward. When we approached the first of the ground poles, she screeched to a halt and backed up several steps. I was surprised- she’d be very good with ground poles for weeks. I think she was put off by how many there were and this was her way of saying “You really want to do this?” I circled her around and very firmly told her with my legs “YES.” And off she went, extending nicely over the poles. We repeated the exercise a few more times, until I felt confident she was feeling good about the whole thing. Anne raised fence 1 to a half-crossrail; one side of the pole was propped up on a muck bucket. We trotted through this without any trouble, and she raised the other half. Apparently G didn’t feel great about staring down an 18″ vertical, so she trotted through the poles and ducked out at the fence. I circled her back around and she hopped over it kind of awkwardly. We went through again and she got the timing dead on! Feeling lucky, I had Anne put fence 2 completely up and sent G through the exercise. She took an ugly jump, but got over it. We tried it again and it went perfectly. 
I was very pleased with her performance today. Despite a couple of naughty refusals, Gina was extremely pleasant and seemed very pleased with herself at jumping two real verticals. I was happiest with her behavior after the second jump. She landed in a big, extended canter, but came back to a happy collected trot as soon as I sat back and asked. Anne commented that all the dressage work had really helped both of us, and I couldn’t agree more. (Anne should be smug; it’s all her work that’s helped us with dressage.) 
Anne and I plan to work through more of Wofford’s courses in the coming weeks and months. I’m looking forward to it!

Maybe G Does Like Jumping

Maybe G Does Like Jumping

Last Tuesday was the most successful day of jumping we’ve had yet. I’m just so pleased. Anne set up three jumps on a serpentine for us- the first was a set of standards with three poles set carefully on the standards’ bases (we don’t have […]

Vote for G!

Vote for G!

The face of a winner! I’ve entered Gina to win a new blanket from TurtleNeck on Facebook and she needs your help to win! Just “like” their page and “like” the picture above to cast your vote for Princess G. You might have to scroll […]