Freddie the jumper

I flatted Freddie in a dressage saddle last Friday morning. This particular saddle is a Wintec that’s on loan from Richal’s sister. It’s a nice enough saddle, but way too slippery and way too small. However, it does help me keep my legs and seat in a more appropriate place for dressage, so in that way, it’s a vast improvement over doing dressage in my cross-country saddle. The only notable thing about Friday’s ride was that Freddie cantered an entire lap around the indoor arena without bucking. Y’all, I just about fell off, I was so excited.

dressage wut

Since the Fred and I have been dressagin’ exclusively on our early-morning rides, I thought we could both use a little change in routine over the weekend. Johnny came to the barn and we set up four little crossrails in the outdoor arena. Johnny also assisted in grooming Fred; he brushed her mane and tail and commented that she looked like a big dork because her super-thick mane parts down the middle.

Johnny is the best.

Freddie was super riled-up and raring to go. She spent a few minutes jigging around the indoor before we went outside, where she walked pretty calmly for most of one lap before jigging some more. I just about had to stand on her head to get her to stop.

I mean, she is basically Will Smith at this point.

I settled her onto a big circle and got her to walk quietly in both directions for a few minutes before asking for a trot. Surprisingly, she trotted beautifully all around the arena, circling and changing directions like she was an old pro. 

I trotted her over all the crossrails several times and was impressed by how well she behaved. She was initially a little hesitant, but with some leg and a cluck for encouragement, she hopped over all the jumps without a problem. She improved as she went- she felt far more confident by the end of our ride. Johnny dutifully reset the few rails we knocked; I was pleased that Freddie didn’t scare herself knocking them down, or get spooked by Johnny resetting them. (Gina could learn something here…) 
And, get this y’all: little baby Freddie cantered away from 90% of the jumps without bucking! Hooray! Toward the end of the ride, she bucked a couple of times coming off a jump. It felt like she just had so much momentum going that she didn’t quite know what to do with it all upon landing. I am very optimistic that as she becomes stronger and more balanced, she will stop bucking. 
Face of a champion.

Maybe baby Fred and I really will have a good show next month!

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

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